10 May 2010

NZRFU wants to verify apartheid apology comment

6:00 am on 10 May 2010

The New Zealand Rugby Union says it is waiting to verify that a reported expression of support for an apology from a South African Cabinet minister to Maori rugby players is official, before it decides its next move.

The Sunday News has published a letter from South Africa's Minister for Sport and Recreation, the Reverend Makhenkesi Stofile.

In the letter, he says South Africa and New Zealand are both guilty of excluding players from sports teams on the basis of race, and that an apology to the victims of discrimination is in order.

Reverend Stofile says Maori rugby stars left out of All Black tour parties during the 20th century like George Nepia were the heroes of Black South Africans, as are New Zealanders who protested against apartheid.

He urges the South African and New Zealand rugby unions to apologise too.

But the NZRU says neither it nor the South African Rugby Union has been advised of an apology by the South African Government.