St George's Park History
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
St George's Park - Chapter 25 - SACOS versus the NSC
Chapter 25 - SACOS versus the NSC
The fight for the sporting soul of the oppressed by SACOS and the NSC was an intense battle. SACOS, during its existence, made four crucial blunders which swung the pendulum in favour of the NSC.
1) Though highly principled, SACOS became staid and unable to adapt to the changing political scenario.
2) SACOS spurned the invitation extended to it in August, 1983, to show solidarity with the United Democratic Front (UDF) when the latter was launched in Mitchell’s Plain.
3) It declined to be a signatory to the Chris Ball (FNB) sponsored advertisement which demanded the release of Nelson Mandela.
4) It refrained from actively participating in the wrecking of the Gatting Cricket Tour.
The National Sports Council (NSC) was a subsidiary of the United Democratic Front which was actually the ANC in disguise. It also surpassed SACOS numerically and had access to the Black townships which SACOS could never attain. The NSC was vibrant and innovative. It was accessible to compromise in order to destroy apartheid.
SACOS, which had up to 1990 played a leadership role not only in the non-racial sports struggle but also politically, held on to strategies and tactics which had become outmoded, outdated, and redundant.
SACOS opposed the ANC, UDF and COSATU, which had become the vanguard of the struggle against apartheid.
The feared alienation of SACOS urged its affiliates to clamour for change - and when that was not forthcoming, the affiliates joined the National Sports Council.