1 July 2011 The late Kader Asmal, South African liberation struggle veteran, human rights activist, academic and politician, was “a great African patriot who devoted his life to the fight against human oppression,” Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said at a memorial service on Thursday. “The agony that enveloped our country immediately after Professor Kader Asmal’s demise told of a grief-stricken nation,” Motlanthe said during a moving memorial service at City Hall in Cape Town. He said that Asmal had embraced a vision “that said a better human society based on human rights, equality, respect and celebration of our common humanity is possible and indeed desirable.” The Deputy President described the late African National Congress (ANC) veteran as an “an erudite professor” and an “organic intellectual in the truest sense of the word.” “His outlook was grounded in concrete, daily realities of the people he led,” he said. To Asmal’s wife, Louise, Motlanthe said: “We know you have not only lost a husband but also, you have lost a companion, a fried and a comrade.” During the ceremony, many people ranging from family, friends and comrades to politicians and academics gave testimonies on how they knew Asmal. Many described him as a “brilliant professor” and a “maverick of all sorts”, as well as a man with a sense of humour who also loved things like whisky and cricket. Poems and songs were performed in his honour as speaker after speaker quoted some of the poems which the late Cabinet minister loved. His Irish close friend of 47 years, Garry Kilgallen, said that he had met Asmal in 1964 in Ireland when he formed the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement. He said that Asmal’s work in both Ireland and South Africa had left “living footprints on the sands of time.” He said that back home, people loved Asmal as he was loved in this country. He described him as a great source of advice as well as a great human rights activist, patriot and “a fighter for liberty.” Louise Asmal thanked everyone for the support she had received during this time of pain and urged the government to carry on with the work of uplifting the poor. Her speech received a standing ovation. Grandchildren Zoe and Oisin said that they would remember their grandpa as a man who was involved in their lives. They said he used to take them to school, walk them to the shops as well as mentoring them to be well cultured beings. Source: BuaNews
The Vodacom Cup has been contested on an annual basis since 1998 and is an inter-provincial competition for all 14 South African unions. Jurie Roux, the CEO of Saru, said that no sanctions had been specified, should a province fail to select the required numbers of black players. He said the question and other operational matters around the policy would be addressed by the Games and Policy committee. Hoskins said Saru had taken the initiative, rather than wait for other agencies to force action. “The Vodacom Cup is a critical step on the development pathway in professional rugby, but it had moved away from its primary purpose of presenting opportunities for young emerging players, particularly black players. “All the 14 provinces recognised that fact and that we needed to address it as a strategic objective at our Transformation Indaba last year. That and other decisions were shared with the Department of Sports and Recreation, as well as the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee. ‘We needed to intervene’“The mood of the organisation is that we needed to intervene – and this was coming from the provinces as well – to see the graph of black player representation begin to rise,” he said. SAinfo reporter and SA Rugby ‘Tangible step’“This is rugby’s tangible step on delivering on that pledge,” he said. “The intended outcome is an increased pool of black talent from which Absa Currie Cup and Vodacom Super Rugby coaches can select and, in due course, more options for the Springbok coach.” 15 August 2013 The South African Rugby Union (Saru) has stepped up its transformation drive, announcing compulsory targets for next season’s Vodacom Cup competition that will require a minimum of seven black players in each of the country’s provincial teams. The directive, released on Wednesday, also says that at least of those players must be in the starting 15, and at least two of the players must be forwards. The initiative was taken by the executive council of Saru on Monday and discussed with provincial unions on Tuesday. The numbers were determined in line with Saru’s global transformation strategy and after a review of historical levels of black representation in the competition. The tournament runs from March to April and, since its introduction, has been the competition in which virtually the majority of Springboks have made their senior provincial debut. ‘Commitment to transformation’“This decision to introduce measurable targets underlines Saru’s commitment to transformation,” Saru president Oregan Hoskins said in a statement.