Shortly after South Africa’s left wing party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) welcomed the cancellation of Durban as Commonwealth Games host, the party has advised South Africa to severe its relationship ties with Britain.
The fighters argued on Tuesday that the country’s continuous relationship, ‘linkages’, and ‘past’ with its colonial master must cut immediately because “South Africa does not owe its allegiance to the colonial Britain.”
The red party maintained that South Africa shouldn’t celebrate the Commonwealth Games in the first place because it is not a “legitimate” body.
“The Commonwealth is an association of all political territories under the colonial conquest and control of Britain, and it shouldn’t be anything that a post-1994 South Africa celebrates.
“South Africa does not owe its allegiance to the colonial Britain and should, therefore, cut all ties to colonial masters. The EFF does not recognize Commonwealth as a legitimate body and will advocate for South Africa’s complete withdrawal from all Commonwealth platforms,” the party said.
The EFF’s statement comes hours after it was globally announced that the 2022 Commonwealth Games will not be hosted by Durban.
All hopes to have the Commonwealth Games hosted on African soil crashed on Monday when the chief executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation David Grevemberg announced in the United Kingdom that Durban will no longer host the games.
Grevemberg said the decision follows Durban’s failure to meet the criteria set by his organization. Prior to the embarrassing news, South Africa’s sports minister Fikile Mbalula had earlier indicated that Durban may not be able to host the 2022 event because of financial constraints.
“We gave it our best shot but we can’t go beyond. If the country says we don’t have this money, we can’t,” he said in February.
Durban was awarded the Games in September 2015 and was due to be the first African city to host the event, which was first held in 1930.
Also, SA’s sports minister has welcomed the decision. In a media briefing in Durban on Tuesday, Mbalula said the government wasn’t prepared to bankrupt the country by committing to spending money that it didn’t have.
He said: “The South African government has regrettably noted the statement issued by the Commonwealth Games Federation … we wish to state that while we disagree with the contents of the statement, we accept the decision of the CGF as the rights holder.”
He, however, made a turnout and announced his support SA’s 2023 Rugby World Cup bid, despite banning rugby from bidding for any major events because of a poor transformation record.
BuzzSouthAfrica understands that R118 million had been spent to secure the Commonwealth Games bidding rights, as disclosed by Director-general for sport and recreation Alec Moemi.
Meanwhile, the search for a new host city had already begun.