Min­is­ter pop­ulist Razzmatazz

CityPress - - Sport -

Sandile Gumede via email

We’ve had all kinds of min­is­ters of sport with dif­fer­ent ap­proaches and per­son­al­i­ties, but no one came close to Fik­ile “Razzmatazz” Mbalula. There’s never a dull mo­ment with Mbalula.

Since he be­came a deputy min­is­ter of po­lice in 2009, Mbalula had made a se­ries of harsh state­ments.

Af­ter an in­ci­dent in Jo­han­nes­burg, where cops ac­ci­den­tally shot a baby in the back seat of a car, think­ing it was a crim­i­nal, Mbalula said: “Shoot the bas­tards. Ob­vi­ous in­no­cent peo­ple will die, not de­lib­er­ately but in the ex­change of the fire power.”

To my mind that was a reck­less state­ment from a per­son of Mbalula’s stature. In a state­ment in 2014 af­ter Bafana Bafana crashed out of Afcon, he called the team “a bunch of losers”. This showed that Mbalula is just a pop­ulist min­is­ter.

Re­cently, he an­nounced that the govern­ment was cut­ting ties with the sport­ing codes that were re­sis­tant to trans­for­ma­tion, es­pe­cially rugby and cricket.

The mil­lion-dol­lar ques­tion is: will it re­ally help or is it go­ing to push blacks fur­ther out of th­ese sports? What has Mbalula done to find a rem­edy for this prob­lem?

The re­al­ity is that the so-called black sports are strug­gling fi­nan­cially. Do you blame trans­for­ma­tion for that?

Since the clo­sure of the Transnet School of Ex­cel­lence, which pro­duced lots of good tal­ent – Steven Pien­aar among oth­ers – our na­tional teams are not do­ing well.

The big ques­tion is: what is it that Mbalula is do­ing to make sure the na­tional teams are per­form­ing?

What is it that the min­is­ter is do­ing to make sure the so-called elite sport is in­te­grated into the school cur­ricu­lum es­pe­cially for town­ships and ru­ral schools?

Per­haps the Razzmatazz will agree with me that trans­for­ma­tion is not the only prob­lem, but the tip of an ice­berg. More than 90% of the Bafana play­ers are black but the re­sults are not forth­com­ing.

As much as Cricket SA and Saru need to shoul­der some re­spon­si­bil­ity for trans­for­ma­tion, or lack thereof, govern­ment also has a huge role to play. And Mbalula must act de­ci­sively and stop be­ing a pop­ulist min­is­ter.

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