AfriForum and Solidarity this week submitted official complaints against race quotas and political interference in South African sport with both the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) head office in Lausanne, Switzerland, as well as the International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) head office in Monaco.It was pointed out to these two sporting bodies that the South African government politically interferes in South African sporting activities, as well as the fact that race increasingly plays a determining role in team selections. Political interference and race discrimination is strictly forbidden by die rules and regulations of the IAAF and IOC.
According to Kallie Kriel, CEO of AfriForum, the propaganda of the ruling party in South Africa has caused the use of racial criteria in the selection of sporting teams in South Africa to increasingly be seen as normal, while it is in essence abnormal and contradictory to international rules. “The submission of these complaints is not an instant solution for the problems in SA sport, but serves as a strong start for an extended process of winning international support in the fight against the race obsession of the South African government and local sporting bodies,” says Kriel.
AfriForum and Solidarity among other things asked that the IOC and the IAAF conduct their own investigation around the implementation of race quotas in South African athletics and other sports. The civil rights watchdog and trade union further requested that these two sporting bodies give instruction that the discriminating, racially based policy by which South African sport is disadvantaged be renounced and that the country’s selection policies be aligned with international standards and practise.
Athletics South Africa is specifically transgressing Section 3 of the constitution of the IAAF. This section states clearly that there may be no political interference in sport and that there may not be discriminated against an athlete based on their race in any way. “It is a clear example of a South African sporting body that is transgressing international rules,” says Henk Maree, Spokesperson for AfriForum.
This week’s submission of complaints will be followed up and concluded later in the week with the submission of a similar complaint with the International Cricket Board head offices in Dubai.