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Ex-SA Rugby vice-president Mluleki George dies of Covid-19

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Leonard Chuene (R) congratulates Mluleki George (L) after George received the Steve Tshwete Lifetime Achievement Award (2005).
Leonard Chuene (R) congratulates Mluleki George (L) after George received the Steve Tshwete Lifetime Achievement Award (2005).
(Gallo Images)

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) on Wednesday expressed sadness at the death of distinguished former South African Football Rugby Union (now SA Rugby) vice-president Mluleki George.

George, who was instrumental in South Africa's transition from segregated sport to unity in the early 1990s, died at the age of 72 due to Covid-19.

He was the founding member of the National Sports Council (NSC) and in 1989 founded the National Olympic Committee of South Africa.

The latter organisation was the harbinger to the premier sports governing federation in South Africa, SASCOC.

"Mr George played an integral part in the unification of South African sport in the early 1990s and himself served as President of the NSC and United Border Rugby Union from 1991 to 2001 and as Vice-President of the South African Rugby Football Union from 1993 until 1998," SASCOC said in a statement.

"He was also the interim chairman for the first year of the South African Football Association's (SAFA) existence in 1991 to 1992.

"He was also a member of the International Rugby Board from 1994 to 1997, amongst a host of other sporting designations.

"SASCOC, on behalf of his membership and the sports movement pays tribute to one of our most revered and iconic sports administrators and leaders. May his soul rest in well-deserved peace."

George, who was also an African National Congress (ANC) member and was sentenced to five years on Robben Island, also served as the Border Rugby Union president in the early 1970s until his 1976 arrest for political activity.

Upon his release, he remained in politics and became a founding member of the United Democratic Front (UDF) in 1983.

He was also later one of the founders of political party COPE (Congress of the People), following Thabo Mbeki's tempestuous ousting as President in 2008, after losing the ANC presidency in Polokwane a year prior, where George was Mbeki's re-election campaign manager.

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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