The Department of Sports, Arts and Culture has responded to the recent backlash surrounding superfans Mama Joy Chauke and Botha Msila’s attendance at the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.
The criticism initially sparked from a tweet by @RenaldoGouws on Twitter, questioning why Mama Joy and Msila were sent to the World Cup using taxpayers’ money as reported by Briefly.
In a statement issued by the Department of Sports, spokesperson Litha Mpondwana expressed concern over the criticism and insults directed at Mama Joy and Msila. The department highlighted that the two superfans represented South Africa in France and Mama Joy led the Braai Army during the World Cup.
Mpondwana emphasised Mama Joy’s role in promoting women’s presence and voices in a predominantly male-dominated environment. The department condemned using the Rugby World Cup to promote racism and patriarchal tendencies.
Furthermore, the department stated that Mama Joy and Botha’s presence at the World Cup symbolised South Africa’s efforts to use sports as a means to heal historical divisions. It was also noted that the department had sponsored other South Africans to attend various global sporting events.
Additionally, it was reported that the South African Rugby Union had sponsored Mama Joy’s trip to the Rugby World Cup.
The department’s statement aimed to defend the superfans and shed light on their positive contributions to South African sports and representation on the international stage.
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Photo: Facebook / @ Briefly – South African News