Rugby’s coporate sponsors and its hallowed symbol the Springbok came under fire from delegates at the National Sports Indaba in Durban.

Sports Portfolio Committee chairman Butana Komphela told delegates that “the Springbok divides us. We have a responsibility to unite our country on one national emblem” “Minister, I want you to observe the arrogance of white people on the Springbok emblem,” he said.

Komphela said that there could be “no negotiation” on the Springbok emblem. When the floor was opened to the delegates, many speaker called for a resolution removing the Springbok emblem to be passsed as soon as possbile.

Sports minister Makhenkesi Stofile said: “My view is that emblems are not matters of life and death.” He said that his view was that there should be one national emblem, which all sporting codes would endorse.

Komphela said that the Sharks rugby franchise’s failure to wear “Say no to racism” on their jerseys was nothing but “rampant racism” on the part of Mr Price.

“Dealing with the legacy of apartheid cannot be dealt with by market forces,” he said. South African Rugby Union (SARU) chief executive Johan Prinsloo said that he could not participate in the debate on the emblem as he had not been authorised to do so and the Springbok emblem had not originally been on the agenda of the Indaba.

According to the sports ministry the main purpose of the indaba, among others, is to develop an integrated national strategy in order to accelerate the implementation of the national sports development agenda.