Investigation into racism in rugby gets underway

Cape Town- South Africa (PANA) -- An investigation into the racial row which has plunged South African rugby into its biggest crisis ever began at the South African Rugby Football Union (Sarfu) offices in Cape Town on Monday.
The inquiry, headed by former judge Edwin King, was set up by Sarfu to probe claims of racism in the team's management, and reports that white lock Geo Cronje would not share a room with a black teammate, Quinton Davids.
South African rugby was plunged into a fresh crisis last week when Mark Keohane, the communications manager of the national team resigned over the incident.
Keohane handed in his resignation with immediate effect saying he believed the trust between himself and the team management had been broken due to allegations that he was the leak of the race row story involving Cronje and Davids.
Two week's ago Cronje was expelled from the World Cup training squad after he allegedly refused to share a room with Davids.
Cronje, who was ordered by Coach Rudolf Straueli to share a hotel room at a training camp in Pretoria with Davids reportedly, refused saying he would not use the same bathroom, toilet or shower as Davids.
However, an official investigation into the incident found Cronje was not guilty and he was cleared of any wrongdoing.
Meanwhile, former South African President Nelson Mandela has been asked to stay out of the row after previously offering to mediate.
Mandela had planned to play an advisory role in a bid to find a solution to the problem, but has been persuaded to keep out of the spat by Sports Minister Ngconde Balfour.

08 september 2003 20:03:00

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