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Minister of Sports, Arts, and Culture, Zizi Kodwa’s legal action aims to safeguard the South African flag at both the Rugby and Cricket World Cups… and he believes it will!

 

Global (10 October 2023) – In a bid to keep the South African flag flying high at the Rugby World Cup, the nation has taken an assertive step by filing an appeal against the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) decision.

Minister of Sports, Arts, and Culture, Zizi Kodwa, made the announcement during a press conference in Cape Town, emphasising the nation’s commitment to its athletes and the pride of South Africa.

“I believe the grounds for appeal are strong and that the sanctions are not appropriate,” Minister Kodwa addressed media in Cape Town on Tuesday.

The WADA decision, which raised concerns over South Africa’s compliance with the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code, has been met with a resolute response from Minister Kodwa. He has articulated that the grounds for appeal are robust, believing that the sanctions imposed are disproportionate and unjust. The punitive measures, particularly the restriction on displaying the national flag, have triggered unnecessary commotion and unfairly penalised athletes who represent the nation on the global stage.

The South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (Saids) has taken up the mantle by filing the appeal through the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland. This legal action will act as a protective shield for the South African flag at significant sporting events, including the Rugby and Cricket World Cups until CAS delivers its verdict.

“The filing of the Appeal will stave off the consequences of the non-compliance as it applies to the flying of the South African flag at regional, continental and World Championships and Events, organised by Major Event Organisations. This means that the flying of the South African flag at events such as the Cricket and Rugby World Cups will not be affected until CAS rules on this challenge,” he continued.

Minister Zizi Kodwa’s commitment to resolving the compliance issue is apparent in the rapid progression of the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) Amendment Bill. Following its approval by the Cabinet, the bill is now set to be presented to Parliament. This proactive approach demonstrates South Africa’s dedication to meeting the requirements set by WADA.

In the midst of these developments, the Democratic Alliance (DA), as the official opposition in Parliament, has also raised concerns with WADA. In a formal letter, they expressed apprehension over South Africa’s persistent non-compliance and requested a four-month extension to align national legislation with the latest World Anti-Doping Code. The DA’s call for an extension underscores the urgency of the situation, especially during ongoing international sporting events, to preserve the South African National Anthem and Flag, which hold immense significance for the nation.

This legal battle and the efforts to amend legislation are essential to ensure that South Africa’s sporting excellence continues to shine on the world stage.

As the appeal unfolds in the Court of Arbitration for Sport, South Africa remains hopeful that its flag will continue to flutter proudly, symbolising the unity and spirit of the nation.


Sources: Press Statement | Democratic Alliance 
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