Saturday 15 May 2021
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Racism sparkles at Rossmund Golf Club

It was not the best of Anton Bonifatius’ golfing days this week in Swakopmund’s Rossmund Golf Club after he was reminded of the days before independence when he was called ‘Kaffir’ by his white counterpart.
Bonifatius claims to have been at the receiving end of a premeditated expletive-laden racist rant from a white male by the name Peter Fox at golfing event held on Tuesday in the coastal town of Swakopmund.
The instigating event is said to be when Bonifatius and three others (Likius Namde, Richard Matti and Theo Haimbodi) clearly won second place in a Woermann & Brock sponsored event but were snubbed during the award ceremonies of the same event. The group is said to have been replaced by another group of whites who did not feature in the top performers.
It was thereafter that Bonifatius and his group queried the event organizers about the snub to which the organizers admitted that it was a mistake which they intended to sort out.
Out of nowhere, Fox is said to have approached Bonifatius asking him who had invited them to play in the competition. This puzzled Bonifatius who, together with Fox are registered golfers at the Rossmund Golf Club, the hosts of the event on the day.
“He started insulting me calling me a kaffir and that we do not deserve the rewards. He told me that kaffirs are poor and we must stay away from the sport. It got ugly to a point that he wanted to fight me,” narrated Bonifatius.
Bonifatius has since submitted a complaint letter to the Rossmund Golf Club management in which he expresses his undesirable experience from certain members/players at the club.
“I did not sleep that day being called a kaffir like we are in the old days. Incidences of this nature are not new and they are not healthy for the sport at all. The old days are long gone and the country is free,” he said.
In the letter authored to the club, Bonifatius highlighted that the behavior of Fox is ‘uncalled for and despicable,’ emphasizing that these type of instances may occur petty at the moment but may blow out of proportion in the long haul.
“It is indeed unfortunate that we have to experience this type of behaviour at Rossmund, for the love of our favourite sport golf. We therefore request the Management Committee of Rossmund Golf Club to look into the matter, specifically to Tuesday’s incident and resolve this issue to avoid similar incidences happening in future.”
The accused, Fox, is said to have been suspended from the Walvis Bay Golf Club for misconduct and bringing the gentlemen’s game to disrepute.
Called for comment, the club captain Jacques van der Merwe said he was aware of the complaints but could not say much as the cub is yet to investigate the matter brought forward.
“Firstly, these are allegations that we still have to look into. I understand that both parties brought forward their complaints and part of their story so we will investigate. Until then, everyone is innocent until proven guilty. However, should the allegations be true, there will be serious repercussions.
We totally do not condone racism. It is wrong and we do not accept it,” said van der Merwe.
Race-related altercations are not uncommon at the fraternity in the country with numerous articles written on the events as they occur but nothing is done.
In March this year, Windhoek Golf and Country Club member Jack Mutua threatened legal actions against the establishment and a white patron for alleged racial prejudice at the club on Independence Day.
Mutua claimed to have been at the receiving end of racist rants from a white male at the golf club.
During a recent golfing event, the DISTELL Tsumeb Open held by the Tsumeb Golf Club, the organizers were also criticized for racially fixing the tee-off time. In the 36 holes line-up, it was arranged that white golfers played against each other while the black golfers were also sorted to play against themselves.
The Patriot can reveal the line-up list.
Outside golf, a storm erupted over the omission of a young black hockey player from the Namibian under-16 girls’ team that was scheduled to tour Zimbabwe.
Fourteen-year-old player, Liya Herunga, was originally selected for the trip, but was then inexplicably dropped for another white player and included in the under-18 squad.
Unpleasant incidents involving racial vilification continue on and off sport turfs, a situation that prompted the Namibian Sport Commission (NSC) taking a zero tolerance approach towards racism in sport recently.
Chief Administrator of the NSC Freddy Mwiya said the commission is still to pronounce itself on the ongoing investigations in the Herunga case while highlighting that the commission is serious in fighting racism in sport.
“When it comes to racism in most of these cases, you will find that it is mostly a few individuals that are problematic. In the same sport codes we have colleagues who are very cooperative and have accepted to live in harmony.
The rest, we must fight together to drive racism out of sport,” he said.
Namibia Golf Union (NAGU) president Marco Swarts could not be reached as several calls made to his cellphone went unanswered.

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