Johannesburg - Humanity must
"jealously guard" against racist tendencies in sport, President Jacob
Zuma said on Friday.
"The world cannot
allow sports to be used to perpetuate ideas which divide humanity and limit the
ability of people to work together for development," Zuma said in a speech
prepared for delivery at a summit in Kempton Park, on the East Rand, against
racism in sport.
"There have been
unfortunate and shocking incidents of blatant racism in sports being displayed
around the world. We call upon the entire progressive humanity to frown upon
racism in sports and to do everything humanly possible to put an end to
Zuma said discussions
needed to be taken further to deal sufficiently with the causes of racism in
all facets of social life.
South Africa this year
celebrates 20 years of democracy, having previously lived under apartheid,
which Zuma said was "an evil system based on institutionalised
"Based on their race,
South Africans were told where they could stay, live, go to school, which
hospital to go to, where to play sports and literally every activity was
determined on the colour of one's skin," he said.
Zuma said what happened in
sport was a reflection of society in general.
"We must appreciate
that sport is played in various political, social, cultural and economic
contexts and is therefore not insulated from the influences of these
Sports people should not
only defend their sport against racism, but skilfully use sports to actively
eradicate it from society.
"Sports men and women
must know that there is no scientific basis that can be used to advance the
notion of racial superiority and inferiority in sport or anywhere else,"
absolutely nothing to do with a person's intellect, character and talents. What
makes one good or bad at any sport is not their race or the colour of their
He called on sports-loving
people to undergo "ideological cleansing" to heal or protect
themselves from "this disease of racism".