ANC statement on sports sanctions

Issue 

The following statement was released by the Sydney office of the African National Congress on February 24.

Should South Africa be readmitted to the international sporting family? The ANC is of the opinion that sporting sanctions imposed against South Africa must continue until South Africans themselves are convinced that apartheid is a thing of the past and inform the international community accordingly.

At the same time, we feel that urgent action must be taken to uplift the standard of those who have suffered through apartheid, the black sportsmen and women. If genuine non-racial sport is to be achieved in South Africa it will be necessary to abolish not only the hated apartheid laws and discriminatory practices and create new non-racial structures but there must be massive programs of sport development undertaken in the black community. The historic pattern of centuries of racism has left blacks terribly disadvantaged in sport.

The positions of the democratic sports organisations in South Africa in regard to the moratorium on international competition and on sports development programs must be promoted, in other words the sports bodies in South Africa should be given the chance to form single non-racial governing bodies for each code of sport in South Africa. So for South Africa to enter the international sports arena certain conditions should be met. The sports bodies should of necessity be integrated, culminating in a single national sports federation and Olympic committee.

There is a mistaken belief that the ANC is at odds with the position of some African governments. South Africa's entry into international sport is through Africa. It would be the height of folly for the South African sports bodies to try to disregard the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa. Only after affiliation to this body can South Africa be allowed to become a member of the International Olympic Committee.

We reiterate our position that the existing sporting sanctions should be maintained until apartheid is eradicated.