Should the Springbok stay or go?

Should the Springbok stay or go?

So what would a year be in South Africa without the recurring 'Remove the Springbok' debate rearing it's head ? Put your opinion to the test here.

Springbok logo
Photo: SA Rugby

This time it is ANC Member of Parliament Strike Ralegoma who re-ignited the fire by calling for the complete removal of the age-old Bok logo from the equally familiar green and gold rugby jersey.

Ralegoma was speaking at a meeting of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation in Cape Town on Tuesday.

He claimed that for successful transformation, 'all national teams had to play with a single emblem'.

While a good deal of South Africans have shown an attitude shift towards the Boks as a national team, there are still those who 

consider the Springbok to be a lingering hangover from the Apartheid era and would far rather see it become extinct.

Compromise has been reached in the past where politicians have been appeased and the national Protea emblem is now the dominant 

one on the left-hand side of the jersey, with the Springbok appearing on the right.

There was another big stink when the Springbok was moved to the sleeve at the expense of the IRB World Cup logo at the 2015 World Cup.

So, yes, the issue always tugs at the emotional strings, but my feeling is that rugby has significantly broadened it's support base in 22 years and done more than most sports codes to unite the nation. 

But we have to concede though, although the vast majority of South Africans identify with 'Amabokke' , admittedly rugby hasn't quite hit the jackpot when it comes to transformation of the national team. 

But is it really necessary for the Springbok emblem be bracketed in the same discussion ? The real issue at hand is the transformation of the national rugby team  so it is more reflective of the population dynamics of our country and that challenge has already been dangled at SARU before.

The Bok emblem seems to have become a convenient pawn stuck in a complex game being played by politicians and rugby administrators.

Notwithstanding the timing of Ralegoma's utterances -- yes it is a very important local governemnt election year and no harm in doing a bit of political points-scoring -- should we still be so obsessed with removing the Springbok logo?

When one puts the real issues facing our country on the table and the declining confidence in the leadership of our President in many quarters following the Nkandla Constitutional Court judgement and the stink now labelled 'Guptagate', surely the placement, or removal, of a Springbok logo, is trivial to the extreme right now.

The Springbok is the emblem of a sporting team and should be seen as such, just like Wallabies or Kiwis. The wild buck species, the Springbok, is still one of our proudest national treasures and it is beyond me why it continues to be associated with a political ideology.

Show's Stories