AfriForum Youth directed a letter to the South African Rugby Union (Saru) on 16 July 2019 in which they request the body not to accede to the proposed name change of the Craven Week rugby tournament. In the letter the youth organisation also requested a meeting with Mark Alexander, President of SA Rugby. This request follows after a group of former rugby players requested Saru to change the name of the Craven Week.
“It is ironic that the players form part of the old non-racial Saru, but refuse to give an opinion upon the current quota system in rugby. The group is unhappy because in those days race deprived them of certain opportunities, but by no means do they refer to the current discrimination. Their action shouts double standards,” says Henk Maree, Head of AfriForum Youth.
It is important to highlight certain facts regarding Danie Craven:
- Craven travelled to Harare in the late 1980s to hold a meeting with the leaders of the ANC. The goal of this meeting was to launch a single rugby association. It was the first step in the formation of a united rugby body, namely the South African Rugby Football Union (Sarfu).
- Craven played a big role in the launch of the first non-racial tournament in South African sport. This tournament is known as the Craven Week that was launched in 1964 and involves players of all races.
“It is thus clear that Danie Craven was by no means an advocate of apartheid or race-based sport, but indeed an advocate of rugby and the development of the game. Acknowledge and honour Doc Craven for his contribution to rugby. Don’t discriminate against him due to the time in which he lived,” concludes Maree.
Give AfriForum Youth the mandate to oppose this name change on your behalf: SMS “Cravenweek” to 32687 (R1).