‘Springbok Day’ to save bok emblem

2008-11-28 00:00

Thousands of rugby fans will don their Springbok gear on Monday in a countrywide protest to retain the use of the Springbok emblem.

December 1 has been declared Springbok Day so that South Africans can take a stand against politicians who want to scrap the use of the emblem.

At the National Sports Indaba held in Durban in October, chairman of the portfolio committee on Sport and Recreation, Butana Khompela, called for the emblem to be scrapped as it is a painful reminder of the past.

The emblem has been the centre of controversy for many years and there have been several calls in the past from political parties who also believe that the emblem is symbolic of the country’s apartheid regime.

People are being urged to dig out their Springbok hats, blankets, jerseys, scarves and even underwear to show their support for the emblem.

Sagie Govender, a die-hard sports fan, said he will wear his favourite Springbok rugby jersey on Monday to support the campaign to save the emblem.

“There’s nothing political about the emblem. It has been around forever and is well-known around the world. Those politicians should leave it alone and focus on other issues affecting sport,” he said.

Elizabeth Snyman said that while she can’t wear her Springbok gear to work because of the corporate environment, she will wear her Springbok panties to show her support.

“I love that emblem because it is so special to our country. All that talk about apartheid is rubbish,” she said.

But avid rugby fan Justin Watson said he does not think that Springbok Day is a good idea as the protest will not change the mindsets of those who want to scrap the emblem.

Watson said that instead of fussing over the emblem, there should be a stronger focus on development and infrastructure in sport.

“If this is the main problem in SA sport, then let them have the Springbok emblem, so they can start focusing on … how our Olympic team … only achieved one medal,” he said.

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