AfriForumCivil rights organisation AfriForum has warned SARU in a letter that its decision to implement racial quotas in the Vodacom Cup would constitute a violation of the IRB’s prohibition on racial discrimination.

SARU was also informed in the letter that the Olympic Charter, with which rugby has to comply as Olympic sport, explicitly prohibits racial discrimination.


According to Kallie Kriel, CEO of AfriForum, it is not in the interest of South African rugby, players or the supporters of the sport that SARU adopted a policy which may lead to disciplinary action by the IRB.

“AfriForum is doing everything in its power to convince SARU to comply with the rules of the IRB and abandon the quota system.”

In terms of By-Law 3 of the IRB rules and regulations, the IRB is compelled to prevent any form of racial discrimination in rugby.

IRB Regulation 20 also stipulates that any action which may be construed as racial discrimination will be regarded as misconduct.

In terms of By-Law 7, not only SARU is subject to the above; the provincial rugby unions resorting under SARU must adhere to these principles as well. In terms of By-Law 9.4(r) the IRB may institute disciplinary steps against any rugby body that violates these rules.

Kriel has pointed out that AfriForum supports rugby development, and wants everyone to have the opportunity to participate in the sport.

“A quota system, however, does nothing to develop new players. Institutions simply import existing black players in order to comply with the quota requirements.

“Rugby unions should focus on development programmes instead of discriminating against certain players on the basis of race,” Kriel said.

Kriel alleged that a quota system based on race disadvantages black players to the same extent as their white peers, because the validity of their inclusion in teams is questioned.

Instead of playing the numbers game in a top-down manipulation of the sport, SARU and the Government should address their own failure to develop young black talent at school level.

14 Responses to SARU taken to task about Illegal Quotas

  • 1

    Not the nicest topic… but I suppose it is news… and we cover the news.

    I think AgriForum has a valid argument… there is discrimination, maybe well meant, maybe bowing under pressure… or maybe because SARU does nothing constructive enough to foster grass roots rugby development in ALL areas…. and have done so or failed to do so since 1994.

    Warped society when one form of dicrimination / unequal regime is replaced by another under the guise of redressing failings of the past.

    Whilst democracy is hollered by all and sundry in SA… and that we supposedly live in a democratic society… go carefully measure South Africa against democratic standards and see how radically we fall short of a true democracy… of equal opportunity…. and of free enterprise.

    Quotas are a forced measure, an unequal measure, an engineered outcome… an abomination!

  • 2

    grootblousmile wrote:

    Warped society when one form of dicrimination / unequal regime is replaced by another under the guise of redressing failings of the past.

    so true. And so sad.
    Maybe time to teach all the jobless ones the toi toi moves and buss them in to protest. Sal ons simpatiseerders kry wat sal donasies maak om hulle rond te ry?
    Die feit is die VN het die woord A n vloekwoord en mees gehate woord gemaak. Kan ons n vloekwoord maak van “kwotas?

  • 3

    just saw this on Facebook

    Absa asked

    What has been your ultimate rugby ‪#‎HumanSpirit‬ moment of 2013?

    a) Schalk making a comeback
    b) Bismarck and Jannie getting their 50th caps together
    c) Bakkies getting a call back

  • 4

    Had SARU and the provincial unions done the job properly at grass roots even 10 years ago, sheer weight of numbers would have ensured that there would be sufficient quality players of colour making the whole quota issue irrelevant.

  • 5

    4 @ Lion4ever:
    A BIGGGG part of the problem lies with Central and Provincial Government too… for not providing Sports grounds / areas and basic facilities around which SARU and the Unions could structure future development and upliftment.

    Something like over 4000 Goverment schools have NO sporting facilities whatsoever, not even to mention facilities outside of the education invironment.

    The simple fact is it is easier for Government to scream and shout about lack of transformation, to hide the fact that they themselves are not supplying the basic means to make it possible to achieve!

    In stead they fight the SANRAL battles and other white elephants and battles…

  • 6

    5 @ grootblousmile:
    The Mail & Guardian, in an article called RICH SCHOOL, POOR SCHOOL, did an interesting take on facilities in the round-about 24 793 public schools on 28 September 2012…

    Here are just some of the findings, according to the latest national education infrastructure management study released by the department of basic education in 2011, there are 24 793 ordinary public schools. It showed that:

    • 3 544 schools have no electricity supply and 804 an unreliable electricity supply;

    • 2 402 schools have no water supply and 2 611 an unreliable one;

    • 913 schools do not have any ablution facilities, and 11 450 still use pit-latrine toilets;

    • 2 703 schools have no fencing;

    • 79% are without any library and only 7% have stocked libraries;

    • 85% have no laboratory and only 5% have stocked laboratories;

    • 77% are without any computer centres and only 10% have stocked computer centres; and

    17% of schools lack any sporting facilities. That equates to about 4 214 schools.

  • 7

    @ grootblousmile:
    The Gov. must just start to Govern.
    They allow anything.
    We can go on about a lot but one simple thing that are not controlled is land planning and use. Here in the Lowveld, whether you talk hoedspruit, Namagale, Acornhoek, Bushbuckridge , everywhere they just build where ever they want. They rip the bush out and buy a piece off land for 50 rand from the captain. No planning , no water no electricity and roads. Then they demand services. It is sometimes 2 to 5 km away from the nearest water and electricity.

    The same happens with schools.

    But forget the Gov, is most of the privileged school sports grounds not developed by parents, sponsors and fund raising? I remember how we had to get sponsors for our pavilion at school. Farmers send in their plows and labor to plant grass. Where is the donations of the new elite? Do they have school committees with rich businessmen on it?
    I know we did get support from Gov. but millions was donated by big business owners when their kids was in school.

  • 8

    I shudder to think of the lost potential because of the poor planning around schools. And I am not only talking about sport. The above figures tell me we have lost thousands of business owners, academics, philanthropists and of course sports people. If resources had been correctly allocated, and corruption checked, this beautiful country of ours would have been the equal of any European or first world country.

  • 9

    8 @ Lion4ever:
    The loss of human capital is incredible…

    Now look at the figures I gave in Comment 6…. one can deduce from that, that at least 20% of South Africans are not provided the opportunity to get a proper education. The figure is probably much, much higher than that in the final analysis.

    How economically active / successful can that 20% or more eventually realistically become?
    What life skills do they have?
    How do they manage to get out of the poverty circle from that start in life?
    How does all of this affect unemployment, crime or a successfull economy in the country?
    How deep is the real impact on social decay?

    … and like you say, how many sports men and women are lost along the way….

    I suppose the deep question is how has the situation improved or worsened compared to pre 1994. The challenge is to not rest until things improve from year to year, until we have a proper Education System and facilities, under whatever government of the day and until we invest in the future of this country.

  • 10

    @ grootblousmile:
    Scary stuff.

  • 11

    When I was home at the start of 2013, I read an article in SARugby, which was basically an extended coverage of the Kings, and EP rugby in general.
    In there the EP director of rugby development (a former prop, maybe Robbie Kempson, can’t remember) said that SO many black players show all the skill, talent and potential at school and even club level. But they are stuck between a rock and a hard place.
    Shoot for a traditional big school, get all the coaching, nutrition and training they need, yet move away from all they know at an early age, with little prospect of a “weekend at home”.
    OR stay with their families and do the best they can, which basically mean fall out of the bus.
    This cannot, and will never be retroactively fixable by this BS system. Grass root development is paramount. But I suppose so is Nkandla…

    @ grootblousmile:

    Agree 100%. If they had implemented proper structures all that time ago, who knows right?

    Like him or not, Chester Williams said that he regretted and hated being picked for his last ever test (which he spent on the bench) for the Boks. The reason? He would rather have been picked on merit than by quota. Which he was. Breyton Paulse I believe expressed similar views at one point.

    Another thing I would like to throw out there… how about SARU say, look, 7-10 years from now we want to have a real “all-black” team, much in the same vain as the NZ Maori team.
    From 23-1, all ethnic. Not the national team, a gimmick or a sympathy team, but a for real thing. Put it out there as additional aspiration, instead of this political driven, moronic, k@k quota bok-snot.
    What thinks you scribes of Rugby?

  • 12

    11 @ Greenpoint-Gunner:
    I personally think a “Black” SA Team (comprable to the New Zealand Maori model) is a great idea… and I think a large amount of South Africans might think the same, yet I think in the wrong circles or hands it won’t fly and would be desribed as a ploy by SA Rugby to perpetuate the devide between white and black… it’ll be politicised for sure.

    Big pity, that people could be that petty.

  • 13

    @ grootblousmile:

    How sad ou grote.

  • 14

    As a former administrator of a “coloured” club in JHB I can assure you all that there is LITTLE TO NO development at grass roots level by Unions like the Lions.

    It’s a sad state of affairs and one that could so easily have been rectified post 1995 when the whole nation was in love with Rugby and again to a lesser extent after 2007.

    Our club members HATED the concept of quotas, and also transformation.

    develop the players, coaches, administrators, hell even the groud staff, and the issue of quotas and transformation will just dissappear.

    Enough said. It’s a subject that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.


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