Kaplan blows whistle on rape
Jonathan Kaplan (Leon Hugo)
Cape Town - Former international referee Jonathan Kaplan said he was happy to be involved in the SPAR Eastern Cape Charity Golf Day, which raised R100 000 in aid of the Rape Crisis Centre in Port Elizabeth.
Kaplan is a brand ambassador for a similar initiative - Blow the Whistle - in Cape Town, which aims to reduce the number of rapes that take place in South Africa by promoting awareness of the issue.
Kaplan, who retired from international last season, entertained the audience with anecdotes from his 30-year career.
The 47-year-old holds the world record for the most international matches refereed, including 425 first-class games, 107 Super Rugby matches and 70 Tests.
Kaplan also spoke about his soon to be released autobiography, entitled Call it like it is.
“The idea of the book is to highlight my life in rugby, my ascent into the upper stratospheres of world refereeing and the challenges I faced in doing that, as well as some stories along the way.
“The title comes from my approach both on the field and off - I like to face things head-on.”
Kaplan was named 2013 Referee of the Year at the SA Rugby Union Awards earlier this month.
Speaking at the handover at the Humewood Golf Club, Rape Crisis Centre director Berenice Malgas said her organisation was honoured and grateful to be the beneficiary of the charity golf day.
Malgas said the funds would be used for the rollout of prevention programmes at various schools in the metro.
“We aim to prevent rape by teaching children how to protect themselves and to know their sexual rights and responsibilities.”
Malgas said the programme would reach more than 8 000 children at 10 schools in the greater PE area. According to her, some 1 500 residents are raped in the metro each year.
SPAR Eastern Cape marketing manager Abri Swart said it was a proud day for the retailer and thanked the 250 assembled participants for their contribution.
“We see ourselves as a community company - we like to give back and be involved in the community.
“And I can truly say that we have changed lives today.”