Ex-Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana star Siphiwe Tshabalala turns his attention to lifting victims of racism

A file photo of Siphiwe Tshabalala celebrating after scoring the first goal of the 2010 Fifa World Cup during a match between host nation South Africa and Mexico in Soweto on June 11 2020.
A file photo of Siphiwe Tshabalala celebrating after scoring the first goal of the 2010 Fifa World Cup during a match between host nation South Africa and Mexico in Soweto on June 11 2020.
Image: Gallo Images/Foto24/Christiaan Kotze

The man who lifted the nation to its feet scoring the magnificent opening goal of the 2010 Fifa World Cup for Bafana Bafana has turned his attention to lifting victims of racism‚ also telling President Cyril Ramaphosa that a system that favours the minority must change in South Africa.

Siphiwe Tshabalala‚ ahead of Thursday’s 10-year anniversary of the day he put Bafana Bafana 1-0 ahead in the 55th minute of the opening 1-1 draw against Mexico at Soccer City on June 11 2010 of the first World Cup on African soil‚ was invited to be part of an indaba this weekend hosted by Ramaphosa on racism.

“It was an online dialogue and the discussion was around racism‚ and police brutality‚ and the defence force in our society‚” former Kaizer Chiefs star Tshabalala told an online press conference of the SA Football Journalism Association (Safja).

“It’s important for one to be involved in public matters‚ to have a voice‚ because we go through so many challenges.

Tshabalala Goal VS Mexico In World Cup 2010 **HD**

“Generations before us also went through so many challenges. So it’s important to bring change. And our voices must be heard.

“I spoke about my experiences with racism abroad and locally‚ and the fact that in South Africa in our society racism remains a norm.

“Even someone calls you by the K-word. It’s like we’re used to it. And it should change. When someone says that they should be brought to book.

“I also mentioned the power that sports people have‚ the power in the sports and arts sector‚ that we can make change and drive such programmes and be the voice for the voiceless.

“As a sportsperson I can reach places where the government can’t. And it shows the power and influence that one has in changing the society.

“But the biggest thing is the system. The system must change. Even now it’s a system that caters for the minority‚ and it undermines the majority.

“We have witnessed recently the events that took place in the US‚ and it was sad to see that.

“In South Africa – I mean‚ it’s 26 years since democracy and people still live in a place where there’s no equality.

"In a place where people can’t get promotions not because of their inability to work but because of the colour of their skin.

“We are in the rainbow nation – we should live up to that. And it’s a call for everyone to stand together and fight racism‚ and end racism as well.

“We need transformation in sport‚ in industry. We need opportunities‚ like anyone else.

“It was a very important topic and I was grateful to be part of it. And I strongly believe that if we stand together – black‚ white‚ Indian – the common objective should be the same.

“We are all South Africans. And we should be happy to be South Africans‚ to be one‚ and be happy to have equal rights as well.”

In South Africa‚ instances of police and military brutality have accompanied the national lockdown‚ including Collins Khosa‚ Elma Robyn Montsumi‚ Sibusiso Amos‚ Petrus Miggels being among 11 reported deaths.

In the US‚ the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers has resulted in protests across America and worldwide.


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