The Colour Code Rears Its Ugly Head Yet Again

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By Kuvee Kangueehi Windhoek Four prominent personalities in Namibian athletics, Quinton Steele-Botes, Hannes von Holtz, Leoni van Rensburg and Charles Gordon, have written to the Minister of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture, John Mutorwa, complaining that, as ‘white’ citizens, it will be very difficult to serve under the present Athletics Namibia (AN) president, Alpha Kangueehi. The letter to the Minister follows after Kangueehi had an interview with the InformantÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚© in which he allegedly made an undisguised attack on all white athletics administrators in Namibia. The four administrators claim that the attack in the paper clearly shows that Kangueehi is still pursuing his mission, which he publicly announced at a press conference earlier after he was elected to the Council of Athletics Namibia. “In about 2002 he clearly stated that he would get rid of all the Boteses, Von Holtzes and Slabberts in athletics, – referring to white officials.” The four noted further that they were surprised by the attack in the local newspaper after Kangueehi, Frankie Fredericks and Chuene held a meeting earlier to map out the future for athletics. They noted still further that if the present status quo remains, it will be very difficult for them, as so-called ‘white’ citizens, to serve under a leadership which is heavily prejudiced against their capabilities. “As Kangueehi also accuses black athletes and officials who joined clubs accommodating any colour or creed – including whites – of supporting the boers, it would probably be the best for the sake of these athletes to relinquish any of our positions, whether held on club or regional level”. The four also warned that they are obtaining legal advice on the entire matter, including the validity of the vote of no confidence unanimously expressed at the Tsumeb congress of AN held on August 26, 2006. On his part, the Minister said that since early 2006 his ministry had genuinely attempted to assist the AN family to sort out their problems, but they were accused of interference. He requested the four to direct all their enquiries to the IAAF, as he will only be able to respond to enquiries after March 28, 2007.