Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi received criticism on social media on Sunday after accusing a Bok fan of holding the old South African flag which was proved as not true after close analysis of images.
Lesufi later apologised to the country for posting a picture of Springboks supporters in Japan carrying what seemed to him like the old flag yet it was the current South African flag.
This become the latest in a series of events that have threatened to dampen the mood of many Boks and South African fans despite the team performing well and reaching the final where they take on England.
The Springbok rugby world cup participation in Japan has been tainted and overshadowed heavily by several racist allegationswith lock Eben Etzebeth under scrutiny from South African Rugby Union and the South African Human Rights Commission for his racism row in broader society.
Another incident involved the Springbok in their group stage victory over Italy when white players huddled and cuddled excluding black player Makazole Mapimpi from team celebration in the aftermath of the famous victory.
Despite Mapimpi’s explanation of the context of events on his Twitter account several people including the international communnity had come to damning conclusions.
Rugby, once a great unifier is indeed proving to be the great divider with the black-white racial binary and divide proving to be still a bone of contention within the sport as everything consciously or unconsciously points towards reminders of the nation’s fractured past.
Several people including celebrities came out firing vitriol based on the perceptions raised by Lesufi against what later transpired as the truth.
The stance displayed by Lesufi of jumping to conclusions without getting the full picture has received criticism from many and has embarassingly seen many people pouring their opinions and allegiances over what later seemed not true.
This had the chance of exploding as there was fanning of hostile attitudes whilst also being a threat to social unity and cohesion.
Captioned below are some opinions shared on Twitter emanating from different sectors of wider society including revered figures including the embarrassing admission from Panyaza Lesufi of how he erred.
By Gerald Dandah