Sports Letters: Apartheid's curse lingers

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The Independent Online
Sir: Chris Westwood's claim (Sports Letters, 5 August) that in South Africa 'rugby league has a powerful history of fighting repression', may rely more on propaganda than on fact. For the South African Sunday Times revealed on 5 May, 1985 that an investigation showed that in a large part of the Transvaal, all 12 league clubs were devoid of black members, and several barred blacks from membership. I am not taking sides between league and union rugby. Apartheid is alive in all South African sport. Thirty per cent of all blacks are still excluded from sport. President de Klerk excluded these nine million blacks from definition as 'South Africans' in a statement in March last year. They are in fact those forced to live by apartheid's laws in the independent black 'homelands', part of the general 'homelands' policy which the white government for years openly admitted was the very 'focal point' of apartheid.

Yours sincerely,

LEN CLARKE

Uxbridge

10 August

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