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ID: 660 Title: N Zs and P M John Key's delegation to Mandela funeral CRUEL Replis: 0 Read: 907 Author: 1
Name: OCEAN SAILOR  Posts: 147  **  Vancouver Time: 2013-12-9_22:8:50 Quote    Reply
New Zealands and Prime Minister John Key's delegation to Mandela funeral a cruel irony

10-12-2013 NZ

Petty, churlish and mean-spirited.

Everything Nelson Mandela wasn’t.

What a sad and telling irony that the delegation that John Key chose to accompany him to Mandela’s memorial service hasn’t included a whiff of generosity or reconciliation. If ever there was a time to show that this National-led government in 2013 bears no resemblance to its shameful counterpart in 1981, this was it.

If ever there was a time to demonstrate to the world that we as a sporting nation are now united in our zero-tolerance towards racism in sport, this was it.

But who does Key issue an invitation to ahead of Minto, a man Minto who Nelson Mandela personally thanked for his contribution to eliminating apartheid.

Jim Bolger and Don McKinnon, that’s who! Two relics plucked from the old-boy network regardless of their tenuous claims on such an invitation.

Let’s be clear. Both Bolger and McKinnon were members of the Muldoon government in 1981, a regime that exploited a divided nation to hold onto power. Neither of these ex-ministers raised a word of objection at that time to the racially-selected South African team visiting here.

In fact, Bolger once referred to Nelson Mandela as a terrorist.

Now, I don’t deny Bolger and McKinnon their democratic points of view at any stage of their lives. But to have John Key attempt to explain prior the delegation’s departure that both of them are deserving of representing my beloved country at the memorial service ahead of men like Minto who risked life and limb in 1981 riles me no end. John Minto was at the forefront of a brave protest that when it effectively stopped the Springboks’ game against Waikato in Hamilton, Mandela who was 17 years into his ghastly 27 year-old prison sentence wrote since then that “hearing news of that event in captivity was like the sun coming out.” There have been decades of dark days in our sporting ties with South Africa which today take on the realms of the unbelievable. It’s perverse to recall that New Zealand put up with our national rugby body sending tours to South Africa as occurred in 1960 with Maoris banned because of the colour of their skins.

It’s bizarre to remember that New Zealand went along with All Black greats like Bryan Williams only being permitted to tour South Africa in 1970 under the category of “an honorary white.”

But all of this treachery and apathy that permeated our society came to a halt after John Minto and friends spearheaded the “enough is enough” message to the NZRU in 1981.

Its Also Bizzar that NZ sent its Olympic team To the Montrel Olympic Games when the world boycotted them in protest to the NZ Rugby Team the Cavaliers and NZ refused The National Government refused to withdraw their passports despite world condemnation.

I do take some consolation that John Key didn’t invite NZRU Chief Executive, Steve Tew on the delegation. Given the NZRU’s past history of supporting racism in sport with no hint of an apology for such behaviour, their presence in Key’s troupe would have amounted to the worst hypocrisy imaginable. OC