South Africa

Mbalula responds to Matthew Theunissen apology

2016-05-06 14:59
Fikile Mbalula (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Sports minister Fikile Mbalula has responded to Matthew Theunissen's open letter apology following the Capetonian's racist outburst.

The apology, published on IOL, followed the 26-year-old's explicit rant at Mbalula following a government decision to ban major international events from being hosted in South Africa in cricket, rugby, athletics and netball following a lack of transformation in those codes.

"So no more sporting events for South Africa… I’ve never been more proud to say that our government are a bunch of KAFFIRS… yes I said it so go fuck yourselves you black fucking cunts (sic)," Theunissen's Facebook rant read.   

Mbalula, addressing media in Cape Town following his 2016/17 budget allocation on Friday, was asked to respond to the apology, which emerged on Thursday. 

"Society and the system we live in will not be tolerable to madness," Mbalula said. 

"As much as building a nation is a challenge ... we've got to build bridges of dialogue between us.

"If youngsters are going to say all sorts of things that blacks are 'what, what' and use the 'k' word ... it would have meant that Nelson Mandela and his generation of leaders should have been tolerable to the AWB. They were not.

"[Eugene] Terreblanche, may his soul rest in peace, he never survived with his racism because South Africans, black and white, were united to say 'this is madness, it's backwards and it's fascist.'

"Why should we allow fascist tendencies to project themselves in our society without any intervention?"

Mbalula said it was also important to acknowledge that racism did not always make its way onto a public platform. 

"Notwithstanding the fact that when people are drunk in their cocoons, away from the media and social networks ... are racist as hell ... but not to the point where it comes to our face.

"How do we react to that as a nation? It's important, because unity of purpose in our nation starts with us."

Responding specifically to Theunissen's apology, Mbalula said it was all "fine and good".

"To Matt Theunissen with his apology ... fine and good ... but we must understand what drives this particular behaviour in our society.

"What is important for us is that we find the best way to take the nation forward.

"We will not be tolerant to racism. That is why we say that that apology must be processed. For me, I've got no problem with that apology of his.

"The fact of the matter is that for anyone who spews racism, there must be consequences in this country ... black and white."

Read more on:    matthew theunissen  |  fikile mbalula

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