TRANSFORMATION in South African society, in my opinion, will never happen. It cannot work under present circumstances. The letter by Bantwini Matika ("Level the playing fields, Madibaz," January 28) regarding transformation within Madibaz rugby, is a case in point.
If we, after 21 years of sham unity in sport, have not yet realised that transformation needs to happen within society first, and then filter to other aspects of social life, I'm afraid we will never become a transformed nation.
My opinion is that we have transformed, but we've gone the other way.
Our focus is on elitism – we want to become part of the grouping who shun us, shun our history, and shun our contributions to the development of the games we play.
Do we regard transformation purely as a colour issue?
If so, a cursory glance at this months SA Sports Illustrated will tell you we have not transformed at all.
Their retrospective on covers over the last 27 years reveal that of 330 issues published since June 1986, 32 feature athletes of colour on the cover as headliners, with 15 of those being foreign athletes (Tyson, Woods, Johnson, Jordan Lomu etc.).
Our media model therefore too displays scant attention (if at all) to the contributions of black sports persons over the past 150 years in South Africa.
Establishment sport, or probably more accurately apartheid sport, was given the green light, to do as they pleased, when in 1991/92 the ANC lifted the international sports boycott.
Through this action, illegitimate sport was legitimised, and elitism became the new measure of exclusion. All sorts of excuses are bandied about, such as players being "not big enough", "not tall enough", or my personal favourite, "not developed enough".
I therefore cannot understand why people still want to be part of structures that clearly do not value their presence.
In a recent discussion with SARU President Oregan Hoskins, I explained why I, and many South Africans support the All Blacks – it is because the Springboks and their structures represent the continuity of exclusion and elitism, while the All Blacks represent the continuation of the struggle against apartheid in sport.
Over and above the a-foregoing, it is impossible to expect a sport to transform outside of the boundaries of a society which has not transformed.
MARK FREDERICKS, Amalinda, East London