Biltong, Boerewors and Blatjang: how to fix South African Rugby and politics

biltong-hanging-upThese are the iconic foodstuffs loved by all South Africans: biltong  being strips of dried salted meat; boerewors the spicy farmers’ sausage without which a braaivleis is just another meal.



Blatjang  is the spicy, tangy chutney  sauce introduced by Malay slaves in the 18th century. The even more universal foodstuff is maize porridge called putu, pap or sadza which was the staple food of most black South Africans.

Latterly, MacDonalds is making headway as a replacement.

Parliamentary news and rugby commentaries will tell you that, despite apartheid’s removal from legislation over 20 years ago, it remains alive and kicking as a political sledgehammer with which to attack and defend.

bokkeOne of the most obvious targets of the political machinations deployed to rectify the apparent iniquities of the past has been rugby.

This was an Englishman’s game introduced in the 1800’s with the first Springboks selected in 1891.

By 1903  only 25% of Springboks selected had Afrikaans names. This reached 51% only in 1951 – a slow transformation.

Since the new South Africa, 18% of Springboks have not been white; but only 15% have had English names.

So have the English speaking South Africans been the sacrificial lambs?

(Someone once said: There are 3 great untruths: Lies, damn lies and statistics)

I believe there is a simple 3 step solution, which will bring about equanimity in rugby, satisfy politicians, generate increased player registration and make many people happy.

It lies in the hands of those that love rugby and their country.

It could spread to the rest of the country and actually deliver the Rainbow Nation so wonderfully projected by Madiba.

First of all: change the National Anthem quickly – the disproportionate  volume when the Afrikaans bit is sung is like a kick in the goolies for the new South Africa.

Secondly: Every rugby fan should take a person of a different colour to rugby matches for a year; families go with families …..

Thirdly: Have a braai together after each game –Biltong, boerewors en blatjang  will save the game and the country !

sa-flagSimple in concept: everyone subordinates their historical differences to seek a common goal.

Max Du Preez can take Hlaudi Motsoenong, Julius Malema can take Kallie Kriel and Mmusi Maimane can take the Guptas perhaps. If those guys can do it, anyone can.



Author: manqindi

Post imperial wind drift. Swazi, British, Zimbabwe-Rhodesian, Irish, New Zealand citizen and resident, now in Queensland, Australia. 10th generation African of mainly European descent. Catholic upbringing, more free thinker now. BA and Law background. Altar boy, wages clerk, uncle, prefect, student, court clerk, prosecutor, magistrate, convoy escort, pensioner, HR Practitioner, husband, stepfather, father, bull terrier lover, telephone interviewer, Call Centre manager, HR manager, grandfather, author (amateur)

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