'No quotas in Netball', says NSA president Cecilia Molokwane after racial storm

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Cecilia Molokwane
Cecilia Molokwane
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  • Netball South Africa (NSA) president Cecilia Molokwane has rubbished the notion that there were racial quotas in the sport.
  • Netball was engulfed in another racial storm last month during the Telkom Netball League.
  • Molokwane said NSA was following the EPG’s self-set race targets model.

Netball South Africa (NSA) president Cecilia Molokwane has rubbished the notion that there were racial quotas in the sport.

Instead, she said they had adopted the "self-set targets" methodology used by the Eminent Persons Group (EPG), which is the sports department’s dedicated committee that reviews and deals with transformation in sport annually.

Netball was hit by another racial storm during the Telkom Netball League (TNL) last month when tournament directors ruled against the Mpumalanga Sunbirds for fielding "too few white players" in the Division 2 final against the Kingdom Queens.

The Sunbirds forfeited the match, which they had originally won 43-42, for the rule contravention and were given zero points for a final score of 42-0 in the Queens’ favour.

"Why are we talking quotas?" said Molokwane at Monday’s virtual press conference.

"In Netball we don’t have quotas. We have self-set targets. Those are the targets that the provinces and districts set for themselves in coming to our championships.

"We follow the barometers of the EPG that we have in the country. When a person talks quotas, I stand back and become amazed.

"We as Netball South Africa don’t set the targets for anyone. Districts set targets for themselves, according to the demographics of where they are.

"Provinces follow what the districts do. Provinces then call the districts when they need players – whether it’s Gauteng Jaguars or Fireballs – they will then follow the demographics of Gauteng, according the districts’ self-set targets."

NSA’s TNL tournament rules, which Molokwane said were communicated to affiliated provinces as far back as March this year, said there must be a 5-2 demographic split at all times during each quarter of a match.

The majority five would be in favour of either black or white players, depending on what that particular province’s netball population demographics indicated.

The race in the minority, she said, was "protected" in that there must be at least two players at all times – hence the 5-2 rationale.

"Why are we saying 5-2 on court? It’s to protect both," said Molokwane.

"We want to protect those where the demographics say they are the majority race. We are saying [also], you cannot let this [minority] race go out because they are not in the majority.

"It’s not about protecting a black player or a white player – just protecting a player that can get on court and do the job.

"However, in doing that, we also protect the demographics of the province. It is so that when we go to the EPG we are not penalised.

"And if you have your own self-set targets, you have to follow them and not just put them on paper.

"We want the best of the best players, however, adhering to the demographics of this country."

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