Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa will not punish the eight South African rugby players who did not bend their knees in solidarity with the international BlackLivesMatter movement during a club match in the English Premier League.
Mthethwa gave the assurance in parliament on Wednesday.
This comes after Rev. Kenneth Meshoe, ADCP leader, asked him in an oral question and answer session whether the group in question would be punished and why Mthethwa had earlier demanded an explanation from the South African Rugby Union.
Mthethwa approached Saru after the incident last month in which Springboks such as Lood de Jager and Faf de Klerk and several other South African players chose to stand.
Mthethwa said in the National Assembly that he had “no plans to punish the players”.
Mthetwa says he also only asked Saru’s opinion on the players who did not kneel.
“My question came after my interaction with the 2019 Springbok team that lived the theme: ‘Stronger Together’. This motivated them in unity and togetherness to win the World Cup.
“Saru understood my question and answered it by confirming that the body does not support racism.
Meshoe told Mthethwa he agrees with him because it would be a violation of an athlete’s constitutional rights to force him or her to support a political or religious movement.
“What they do not agree with is to bow their knees to a deceptive, divisive and intolerant movement that attacks churches, synagogues and everyone else who does not support their political movement,” Meshoe said.