It was with shock that we read in New Era’s edition of Wednesday 28 September 2016 a story titled “’Black baboon’ slur leaves sting in the tail”.
The SPYL, as a representative organisation of the majority of Namibian progressive youths, deems the report of racism, as reported in the New Era, very serious.
The allegation, which at this time remains as such, deserves a thorough and sincere investigation by both the Wanderers Rugby Club and Namibia Rugby Union and taking whatever appropriate actions are needed.
As per Article 3 (1) of the SPYL Constitution, we the leadership of SPYL cannot remain silent when serious allegations of racism rear their ugly heads, more so at a time when the country as a whole is working hard to ensure social cohesiveness and social progression. We need to take on racism just as we equally combat other social evils in our society.
Failure to publicly address these allegations by the Wanderers Sports Club and Namibia Rugby Union would be a craven abdication of their moral and national duties.
Therefore, the SPYL calls that there be no place for racism in our sports, and Namibian sportsmen and women ought to conduct themselves with dignity when donning sports kits that bear the Namibian national flag.
We expect our sports authorities to ensure that Namibian sports codes do not tolerate racism of any kind. Racism, of whatever kind, should be nipped in the bud once and for all.
The SPYL reiterates that Namibia is a peaceful country and such incidents of racism not only perpetuate the racial divide but also incite racial violence. Furthermore, we call on the administrator of all sports bodies to ensure that all races are given an equal opportunity to participate in all sports codes, and that no barbaric act of racism is condoned in the wonderful environment of sport.
Neville Andre Itope
SPYL Secretary for Information, Mobilization and Publicity