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But if South African administrators want to integrate black and white sports leagues, how can they deal with the problem posed by home and away matches in a society that separates the races and their sports grounds on a geographical-residential basis?
Political conditioning of thought in South Africa's ruling white society has led to the attitude that what happens on the football field—and by extension in the locker room and in the bleachers—may all too easily be transmitted to society as a whole, and the erosion of apartheid will begin. The cry from one of the country's wildest rightists, a former Minister of Posts and Telegraphs, Dr. Albert Hertzog (also an Oxford man), is still heard in some places in the land. Protesting against the inclusion of Maoris on a New Zealand rugby team that was to play South Africa, Hertzog declared, "My God, they'll be invited to cocktail parties, and they'll be dancing with our daughters next." While Minister of Posts and Telegraphs, Hertzog was the most resolute opponent of the introduction of television into South Africa. He said the licentiousness of the box might inflame black houseboys to run upstairs and rape the memsahibs.
Hertzog, it should be recorded, was dropped from the government. South Africa now has television, and Maori rugby footballers this year danced with white South African daughters. And South Africa's Springbok national rugby team—an all-white bastion—beat the touring New Zealand All-Blacks (which refers to the color of their uniforms, not their players) in a series of games that were televised to audiences of spellbound South Africans.
This year, through a TV hookup with Montreal, South Africans saw the Olympic Games in which they have not been allowed to participate since 1964. They saw and pondered the black boycott of the Games because of New Zealand's rugby tour of South Africa, and from a previously sympathetic New Zealand government they heard the hint that future tours would be discouraged unless South Africa was prepared to field a multiracial national team picked on merit.
The sporting world has been closing in on South Africa for years. The expulsion of the country from international track and field this year was the 13th area of world sports from which South Africans have been banned, and they're ostracized in most others.
"Hell, what have we got to worry about? We've got bowls, darts, sky diving and jukskei left," an embittered sportsman muttered into his Lion Lager at the Wanderers Sports Club in Johannesburg. Jukskei is an Afrikaner game like horseshoes, except that the players throw a skei—something like a rolling pin—at a peg. It is not an Olympic sport.
South African sportsmen are depressed by their isolation. Danie Malan, one of the country's greatest athletes of the past decade (he set a world record in the 1,000 meters in Munich in 1973), has decided to retire to his wine farm in the Cape. "Now I've lost what little international competition kept me going, there's no reason to stay on," he says.
Titus (Dynamite) Mamabolo, a former South African Open 5,000-meter champion, feels much the same. His nickname derives not only from his prowess, but also from his job as personnel officer at Modderfontein, one of the world's biggest dynamite factories. Modderfontein, like the gold and other mines it supplies with explosives, has among the best track and field facilities in the country for black workers.
Dynamite Mamabolo echoes the loneliness of the South African black long-distance runner. "Like most athletes," he says, "I've always dreamed of competing in the Olympic Games, of pitting myself against the best runners in the world. But there's no point in running anymore if there's no prospect of us ever competing in the Games. So now I'm going to coach, and think about it all, and hope that maybe one day South Africa may be admitted to the IOC again, and when that day comes I'll be able to produce world-class black athletes to run against the world."
But world pressure on South Africa has undoubtedly brought about relatively liberal changes in the country's sporting life—a long way from the day when, shortly before the 1964 Olympics, the Minister of Sport at the time, Senator Jan de Klerk, told the IOC that under no circumstances would the republic allow interracial competition and national mixed teams.