The South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) has joined numerous organisations in condemning Cricket South Africa (CSA) for its decision to remove David Teeger from his captaincy position.
CSA announced last week that Teeger, a cricketer involved in age-group cricket for the South Africa national under-19 cricket team, would no longer serve as captain.
It cited concerns about security and potential protests related to the war in Gaza during the upcoming World Cup tournament as the primary reasons for Teeger’s removal.
The cricket board claimed to have regularly received security and risk updates concerning the event, asserting that its decision was made in the best interest of all players.
However, the SAJBD views this decision as an act of antisemitism, arguing that Teeger’s removal is unjust and raises questions about discrimination based on his religious or cultural background.
“There is no basis for this decision other than the fact that Teeger is Jewish. This is not the first time that Jews have been excluded from sporting bodies in our history,” said Karen Milner, national chairperson of the SAJBD.
“It is shameful that CSA is embarking on a path that is dangerously reminiscent of Nazi Germany, when Jews were actively discriminated against, including among sporting clubs.
“The SAJBD will do everything in its power to fight against this vicious prejudice. There is no place for Jew hatred and any form of discrimination in South Africa.”
Human Rights Commission
Meanwhile, the DA has urged the CSA to reconsider its decision, warning that if the retraction is not made, it intends to file a complaint with the Human Rights Commission.
The party contends that the removal constitutes a breach of the Bill of Rights.
“The CSA is misguided. Its primary duty is to uphold the Bill of Rights as enshrined in the constitution of South Africa, which explicitly prohibits direct or indirect discrimination on grounds including religion, ethnic or social origin, conscience, belief, and culture,” said the DA.
It accused the CSA, particularly its chairperson Lawson Naidoo, of betraying the values enshrined in the Bill of Rights by yielding to threats of violence.
Said the DA: “This decision is particularly galling given that the current chairperson of CSA, Lawson Naidoo, is also the executive secretary of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution and regularly styles himself as a human rights defender.
“By bending the knee before threats of violence, Naidoo and the organisation he chairs have taken the coward’s way out and betrayed the values enshrined in the Bill of Rights.
“Instead of kowtowing to bullies, CSA has a duty to uphold the rule of law. This means protecting the rights of players including their rights to free expression, belief, conscience, and religion from those who would commit violence against them.”