St George's Park History
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
St George's Park - Chapter 18 - Unification Hampered by Problems
Chapter 18 - Unification Hampered by Problems
The inability or reluctance of Wallace to give meaningful leadership allowed fears to surface that the Whites were not sincere and had led to disillusionment in the ranks of WPCB. Varachia interceded but it was too late. Mallenick’s attempt to persuade Howa failed because players had by that time intimated that they would not join the WPCU.
The June, 1976 uprisings also impacted negatively on the unification process. It made a lie of the process but the door for further negotiations was not shut. There were, however, new changes such as these to be considered:
1) A single controlling body for all cricketers.
2) Clubs to determine their own membership.
3) The placing of a moratorium on tours to and from South Africa.
South Africa was also responsible for the banning of cricketers in Jamaica and Guyana who had been members of the Lawrence Rowe rebel team who played here. The Montreal (Canada) Olympic Games suffered the ignominy of being boycotted by 29 nations because the All Blacks Rugby Team of New Zealand had deemed it fit to tour South Africa.
Sport was thrown into further confusion when Dr Piet Koornhof, the Minister of Sport, insisted that his department should be consulted before the implementation of the new sports policy. The Secretary of the Department of Sport, Beyers Hoek, confused the issue further by stating that the new policy did not condone mixed sports clubs but was merely for competition between separate clubs of different race groups. He also highlighted the fact that the Group Areas and Liquor Acts had not been amended.
In Kimberley the SAP stopped a multi-racial trial match. The selection of two players who were not White caused further hazards. The two were not allowed to stay at the same hotel as their team mates nor could they travel in the same compartment on the train with fellow players.
The Department of Sport prohibited Balfour Park Cricket Club from playing Edward Habane who had competed in the 1974 Double Wicket Competition. The Nuffield Cricket Week stated unequivocally that they would not go multi-racial and that the association would not contravene Government policy.
The sports scene was further compounded when Dan (Cheeky) Watson and his brother Valence played for Kwaru Rugby Union against Sedru on October 10, 1976.
The advent of normal sport ignited fierce debate in the disadvantaged community. The political situation at that time demanded that sport could not be separated from the urgency to change. Universal suffrage, equal education and the dismantling of all inhuman acts which were used to inhumanise the oppressed were far more pressing than the normalisation of sport.
In January, 1977, the South African Senior Schools Sports Association announced its withdrawal from SACBOC.