Apartheid anthem played for SA women
The SA women’s hockey team has requested an apology from competition manager Steve Catton after the apartheid anthem Die Stem was played before South Africa’s 3-1 upset win over world number four Great Britain at the London Cup in Chiswick on Tuesday evening.
“We are extremely
disappointed that an administrative blunder has been the source of much
embarrassment for our team and all South Africans,” said SA Hockey Association
CEO Marissa Langeni Wednesday morning.
“The anthem played caused our team much discomfort as they stood not knowing what to do with themselves. This incident has robbed our team of what should have been a moment of pride,” said Langeni.
Team manager Les Galloway confirmed that the anthem played by the host nation was not Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika.
Contrary to an earlier statement released by the SA Hockey Association, it was not a full version of the apartheid-era anthem Die Stem either.
“It was not Die Stem but it was not the correct anthem either- it was like a mix. It was bizarre,” Galloway said.
“We made them aware of it and they have promised to rectify it.”
The national anthem, which was adopted in 1997, consists of a shortened, combined version of the hymn Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika (God Bless Africa) and Die Stem van Suid Afrika (The Call of South Africa) and incorporates the languages isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sesotho, Afrikaans and English.
Galloway said that on Wednesday morning she would listen to the anthem the officials intended playing that night to ensure the error had been corrected.
“We don’t like the old anthem and we don’t want it played. No doubt,” she said.
“... I have spoken to the officials and by tomorrow night it will be done and dusted.
“We didn’t think it was a serious problem,” she said.
South Africa face Germany, ranked third in the world, in their next match on Wednesday night.