South African Swimming Head Faces Tough Questioning in Parliament

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, November 2. THE head of South African Swimming, Gideon Sam, has been called to testify before a committee of Parliament, where he faces tough questioning from the chairman of the Sport and Recreation Committee, Butana komphela, according to a report from the south African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

Komphela wants Sam to explain why, ten year after the dismantling of apartheid, the sport of swimming remains almost exclusively white, with few blacks and "coloureds" competing at an international level, a situation Komphela described tersely as "unacceptable."

Komphela says Swimming South Africa has been eluding his committee for most of this year and that he has threatened to have a warrant issued for Sam's arrest charging him with "contempt of Parliament."

According to the SABC report, Komphela commented that he cannot comprehend why blacks and coloureds, who make up 95 percent of South Africa's population lack even "one shining star" in swimming. All the shining stars, he says, are whites.

"Swimming cannot just be a monopoly of the few and continue to say that black people can't swim. They must tell us what they doing to develop them," he said.

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