Quote of the week

Senekal last week had nothing to do with solutions. It was all about politicians’ testosterone. It was all about politicians’ egos. What useful idea came out of all that heat and noise generated by all those politicians in Senekal last week? There is nothing. Nothing that makes SA a better place. Nothing that leads us to a better understanding of race relations in SA after 1994. Nothing that is a solution to farm murders – many of whose victims are poorly paid, desperate black people – or a solution to the incredibly horrendous murder and crime problem in this country.

Justice Malala
Sunday Times Daily
2 May 2007

"Proteas lost because of prejudice, not affirmative action"

Steven Friedman’s column in today’s Business Day will get many people hot under the collar. He argues that racist prejudice, not affirmative action, was partly to blame for the woeful performance of the Proteas at the Cricket World Cup. Monet quote:

The problem, white former players tell us, is that our team is not chosen on merit. They are right. Racial bias does hobble our cricketing progress. But the problem is not the measures designed to give black players a chance. It is prejudice that assumes, instinctively, that competence is something whites have and blacks must prove they have.

Those who doubt that South African team selection is still heavily influenced by this prejudice need to consider these questions: Why was Makhaya Ntini, the third-highest international wickettaker in our history, dropped for our first World Cup match played on a pitch which suited his bowling?

I agree with Friedman’s broader point about black people having to show competence while competence is assumed in whites. Why else would otherwise reasonably intelligent people choose Graham Smith – a petulant, overweight, insecure bully – as the Protea captain? Don’t want to sound like my mother, but the fact that he continuously chews gum on the pitch just adds insult to injury. The selectors should do some affirmative firing and send him packing.
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