Pretoria - Minister Fikile Mbalula has noted AfriForum and Solidarity's announcement of their intensions to institute a legal challenge against the Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa following its pronouncements on transformation.
On April 25 this year, Mbalula received and released the results of the third Eminent Persons Group (EPG) Report on Transformation in Sport report.
Subsequently, the minister pronounced punitive measures and directives on federations that failed to meet their own set transformation targets for the year 2015/16.
When releasing the report Mbalula underlined that these measures are informed by the urgent task for the sport sector to reconstruct the fragmented and deeply discriminatory sport and recreation landscape by establishing a unified sports system that is underpinned by the principles of democracy, equity, transparency, demographic representation, access and increased participation.
Responding to the threat by AfriForum and Solidarity in a media statement on Wednesday, Mbalula indicated that those who are rooted in the past will not be pleased by these measures.
“The threats by the AfriForum and Solidarity are not surprising, they are expected from groups of backward extremists who masquerade as representatives of the South African people. These groups do not represent our people or their interests but are driven by their desire for our country to remain in the past and fail to embrace a future we envision and seek to build through the measures we have put in place.
Transformation, equity and redress are the tenants of our Constitution, AfriForum and Solidarity stand for the extreme opposite. It is also telling that instead of using the Constitutional Court route, they have opted for the Labour Court.
Any group that threatens to challenge the decisions we have made to transform sport is threatening the future of South Africa. For that reason, the Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa will defend any challenge by AfriForum and Solidarity that attempts to slow our transformation trajectory.
All freedom loving South Africans must abhor the actions of these racist NGOs masquerading as advancing minority rights. South Africa is a free country and all its people must be afforded opportunities cognizant of our past imbalances,” Minister Fikile Mbalula said.
The Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa is yet to receive correspondence from AfriForum and Solidarity on their intentions. Their challenge remains a threat that the department is ready to defend.