Those who are critical of Joy Chauke and Botha Msila, South Africa’s paid “super supporters”, are against change and are using the World Cup to promote their underlying racism and patriarchal tendencies.
This is how the department of sport, art and culture responded to criticism regarding Chauke and Msila being paid by it to attend sporting events where South African teams play. The two are now at the Rugby World Cup in France and all their travel and accommodation costs and an allowance are paid by the department.
“Mama Joy and Botha’s presence at the World Cup rugby tournament plays a big role in demonstrating how South Africa uses sport to heal some of the divisions of the past,” said Zimasa Velaphi, spokesperson for the department.
There is great division over Chauke and Msila attending sporting events at taxpayers’ expense.
However, Velaphi believes Chauke and Msila “are recognized in the sporting world as the epitome of promoting a winning, active and inspiring nation”.
According to the department, it noted with concern the negative reactions and comments by some South Africans about Chauke and Msila’s presence at the Rugby World Cup.
“It is worrying that when the world acknowledges their presence and thus celebrates the contribution of South African fans at the Rugby World Cup, two of South Africa’s super fans receive criticism and insults from within the country.”
In 2020, the country adopted a framework document on South Africa’s national interest and its promotion in a global environment, says Velaphi. The document defined South Africa’s national interest within the context of tackling the legacy of the colonial rule and apartheid policy.
“As part of its international relations work and responsibility, the department is committed to creating international platforms for South Africans to promote people-to-people cooperation and partnerships. It is within this context that the department supports South Africans to identify international platforms to pursue their talents, dreams and inspiration in sport, art and culture on strategic international platforms.”
Report reported on Sunday that the department did not want to answer questions about how Chauke and Msila were chosen nor did they want to disclose how much the project cost the department.