AfriForum and Solidarity lodged an official complaint against racial quotas and political interference in South African rugby at World Rugby’s headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. World Rugby’s attention is drawn to the way in which the South African government interferes politically with South African rugby’s activities, as well as to the fact that race plays a decisive role in team selection. Political interference and racial discrimination are expressly forbidden by World Rugby’s rules and regulations.
According to Kallie Kriel, CEO of AfriForum, the lodging of the complaint with World Rugby was the first step in the international campaign against racial quotas by AfriForum and Solidarity. This complaint will in the next two weeks be followed by the lodging of similar complaints to the respective headquarters of the International Cricket Council, the International Netball Federation, the International Olympic Committee and the International Association of Athletics Federations.
Henk Maree, AfriForum’s spokesperson who is part of the delegation that lodged the complaint with World Rugby together with Kriel, says that AfriForum was forced to approach World Rugby, as the civil rights watchdog’s efforts to convince SA Rugby to drop racial quotas have fallen on deaf ears. ‘AfriForum is realistic about the fact that the lodging of the complaint is not a quick fix, but it serves as a strong start to an ongoing process to accomplish international opposition to racial quotas.’
Maree also says that the South African politicians’ interference in sport is merely a tactic to gain cheap exposure in promoting their own agendas. ‘The only way in which politicians can make a sustainable contribution to sport is to focus on the responsible spending of funds to develop the talents of young athletes – regardless of their race.’