More black women must net a chance

2012-11-10 20:44

Netball body slated for making the national team unrepresentative

Central Gauteng Netball’s deputy president Kgapane Rabotho has lashed out at the selection policy of Netball South Africa (NSA).

Kgapane said NSA has failed to get the balance of the team right as it did not reflect the country’s  demographics.

The team that participated in the recent Quad Series in New Zealand only had three black players who competed for the same positions: centre, wing attack and wing defender.

Bongiwe Msomi (centre and wing attacker), Zanele Mdodana (wing defender and wing attacker) and Thuli Qegu (centre and wing defender) all competed for starting spots.

This means the Proteas were playing an average of two black players in each game.

NSA has been under intense criticism for not fully committing to transforming the team.

According to Rabotho, the move would also give outsiders the wrong perception about NSA’s selection policy.

She said: “People will start believing this was done deliberately to deny blacks the playing opportunity because they cannot be fielded at the same time.

“There are capable players in the country and this will take us back to quota systems. Our selectors must get their act together.”

A quota system was introduced to fast-track transformation in the sport.
One of the former NSA selectors, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the lack of transformation in netball left
much to be desired.
The source added that the sport has actually regressed, transformation wise.

She said: “There are many players out there who are competitive and can make the team. This selection has made black players look incompetent and (like) under-achievers.”

Another source within NSA said the body’s team selection was an embarrassment.

“If the Quad Series was South Africa’s best team, why did we lose like that? We must be joking. It’s demoralising that our development work is not visible,” said the source.

The Proteas failed to secure a win in all six matches they played in the series, after going down 56-30 to England in their last match.

NSA president Mimi Mthethwa said black players were given opportunities against Malawi in August.

She said: “We cannot select players just to please individuals. This is a unified event, not about race or colour.

People who come with these allegations are negative and very mischievous, and I cannot stoop to their level.”

According to Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula, opportunity and access to the sport had been provided to all South Africans from the most basic levels, and there are no barriers to entry.

He said: “It must firstly be stated categorically that the perspective of the (sport department) on  transformation is not narrow in terms of only representation at national team level.

“It is an integrated and holistic approach to development and integration from club to elite level.

“It was evident with the recent national championships held at the University of Johannesburg in August, when black players from all regional teams in the tournament accounted for close to 80% of participants.

“Ten black players were selected for national trials, out of 22, on pure merit,” added Mbalula.


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