_: The Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture is concerned about the continued disregard of the South African national anthem. The recent incident happened during the game between the Bafana Bafana and Nigeria on Wednesday, 14 August.
As per standard practice in international games, the host nation’s national anthem is played last as a sign of respect for the visiting nation. The Committee was shocked when South Africa’s national anthem, Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika, was played first, cut short to play the Nigerian national anthem and the South African anthem then resumed.
The Committee is concerned that there seems to be a continuing trend of disrespect towards the national anthem. A few weeks ago, renowned South African musician Judith Sephuma was also alleged to have delivered a below par performance of the national anthem. This follows the terrible rendition of our nation’s primary song in 2009 by Ras Dumisani as well as the rendition by musician Ard Matthews in 2011.
The Committee views this continuing trend as disrespectful and calls on every South African to show the anthem the respect that it deserves.
“We view the national anthem as sacred and as a symbol of the country’s painful history as well as a prosperous future we all strive towards. It should be sung and played with dignity knowing that it represents hopes and aspirations of over 50 million South Africans and represents aspirations of freedom fighters that gave their lives for a better South Africa,” Chairperson of the Committee, Ms Thandile Sunduza said.
The Committee calls on all South Africans sporting federations to ensure that the national anthem is played properly during all their international games. The Committee further calls on all South Africans to take ownership of the national anthem and to treat it with all the respect it deserves. This sense of pride towards the national anthem should be imparted to young South Africans from an early age.
The Committee wishes all stakeholders taking part in the Nelson Mandela Sports and Cultural day all the success. “We hope that this day will go a long way in creating a conducive environment for social cohesion and we hope that sport will continue to play an integral part in unifying South Africa” said Ms Sunduza.