Rugby Union: SA tours approved by ANC

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The Independent Online
SOUTH AFRICAN rugby officials have agreed to promote the African National Congress's peace and democracy campaign during the Test series against Australia and New Zealand in August.

After talks in Johannesburg yesterday, Ebrahim Patel, the South African Rugby Football Union's president, confirmed that the tours would go ahead.

Patel said the SARFU had agreed with the ANC's campaign, which it had previously criticised, but would not make wearing armbands bearing the slogan 'peace and democracy' compulsory.

He said the SARFU would display a peace billboard at all games and there would be a minute's silence at Test matches for victims of violence. It would also contribute to the Red Cross disaster fund.

The SARFU had not been party to the earlier agreement between the ANC and other sporting bodies. The ANC had threatened to call for the reimposition of the international ban on South Africa after the Boipatong township massacre, but refrained after a number of sporting bodies agreed to adhere to its campaign.

However, Patel was guarded about whether the Wallabies and the All Blacks would visit Boipatong, although the ANC has said the touring teams must.