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Yachad slates CSA’s double standards



When Proteas cricket star Kagiso Rabada and other famous cricketers spoke out in support of Palestine, they weren’t lambasted for their political views, and there certainly wasn’t any inquiry into their comments.

However, when 18-year-old cricketer David Teeger, the Under-19 Proteas captain, came out in support of the Israeli army when accepting the Rising Star Award at the Absa Jewish Achiever Awards on 22 October, Cricket SA (CSA) initiated an inquiry. (See page 3.)

This week, former Gauteng and South African international cricketer, Mandy Yachad, came out in support of Teeger’s right to freedom of speech. Yachad, who served on the board of the predecessor of the Gauteng Cricket Board (including on its disciplinary subcommittee), felt he could no longer remain silent on the inquiry.

“There have been a number of prominent – in fact, far more prominent than 18-year-old Teeger – cricketers who have represented, and still represent, South Africa who, exercising their freedom of speech, have over the years publicly and on various social media platforms demonstrated and vocalised their support for Palestine and the Palestinian people,” Yachad wrote in a letter titled “Cricket SA’s double standards”, published on “Were these statements of support considered by the CSA to be ‘provocative and inflammatory’? Did it contemplate instituting an inquiry into these statements?”

Rabada, a Proteas player and the second-best Test cricket bowler on the International Cricket Council rankings, tweeted “#PrayForPalestine” on 12 May 2021. On the same day, Rabada’s 2023 Cricket World Cup teammate, Tabraiz Shamsi, tweeted, “#PrayForPalestine #StopApartheidIsrael #SavePalestine #SaveSheikhJarrah”.

In the same month, Proteas legend Hashim Amla wrote on Instagram, “We salute the bravery and courage of all PALESTINIANS.”

SA Cricket Mag lauded Amla for this in an article published on its website titled, “Amla embodies the spirit of Mandela”.

“Amla is deeply missed in a playing context,” read the first line, “but the South African continues to be one of the most powerful voices in cricket, evidenced most recently by his moving offering on the Palestine issue.”

Wendy Kahn, the national director of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, told the SA Jewish Report she was aware of the CSA inquiry, in which Teeger was this week exonerated.

“We reject with contempt the motives of those who have harassed and bullied an outstanding young sportsman for remarks he made at a private Jewish event. In particular, we call out one of the lead bullies, Ronnie Kasrils, who had the temerity to try to shame a schoolboy in a letter to the press, while himself glorifying the murderous crimes of Hamas, describing ‘a brilliant, spectacular guerrilla warfare attack’”.

According to Yachad, “The decision by the CSA board to appoint an independent inquiry to determine whether Teeger had breached either the CSA or Central Gauteng Lions codes of conduct is in the main the result of a complaint made three weeks after Teeger’s acceptance speech by the Palestine Solidarity Alliance (PSA), which alleged that Teeger’s comments were ‘a provocative and inflammatory political statement’.

“This from an organisation that on 7 October, after the barbaric attacks on Israeli civilians by Hamas, issued a statement saying, ‘The invasion into apartheid Israel is an encouraging, well-orchestrated Palestinian military campaign’ and ‘Victory to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. Victory to the freedom fighters of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.’

“If Teeger’s statements were deemed by CSA to be a breach of the codes of conduct, why did it wait a month before [instituting the inquiry], and then only after being requested to do so by the PSA? Teeger’s statements, made at a private event and in his private capacity, were made in support of Israel and its soldiers, who were defending Israel after barbaric attacks by Hamas, which resulted in the death of hundreds of innocent civilians.”

Yachad wrote that regardless of the outcome of the inquiry, “The fact that CSA has chosen to go ahead with it endorses the stance taken by the PSA in support of Hamas and against Israel, and will encourage bullying and further antisemitic and anti-Israel sentiment.”

Yachad, who played his sole match for the Proteas against India, was looking forward to attending some of the matches of India’s upcoming tour to South Africa. However, he will now not attend any of those matches nor any other game that falls under the auspices of the CSA. “I will continue to support the Proteas – including those players who have shown support for Palestine and the Palestinian people,” he said.

“I call on all of those who support Teeger’s right to freedom of speech and believe that the stance taken by CSA smacks of bias and double standards, including his teammates, to likewise express their opposition to the CSA’s handling of this matter.”

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  1. Peter Bernstein

    Dec 8, 2023 at 9:15 am

    Apart from not attending future cricket matches or not watching any games on TV, what else can be done that will have a meaningful impact on CSA.
    I agree that they have acted hypocritically, shamefully and with a shocking level of prejudice towards David Teeger, notwithstanding that he may have been “exonerated” in the end.

  2. Choni Davidowitz

    Dec 10, 2023 at 10:40 am

    My advice to David Teeger would be to leave this exilic graveyard and make Aliyah asap.

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