The ties that bind : the relationship between politics and cricket in South Africa (1989-1992)
South Africa has just celebrated its ten years of democracy. The country’s economic, political and sporting situation is stable. Some would debate this, but for the most part, ten years of democracy has been beneficial for most South Africans. Before 1994, South Africa had endured more than forty years of apartheid. It was a system that governed nearly every facet of life for Black South Africans. Apartheid dictated where one was allowed to live, where one was allowed to go to school and even whom one was allowed to marry. It also used sport to enforce and strengthen the ruling regime. Sport and politics have long been inextricably entangled in South Africa. The history of South African cricket walks alongside that of South Africa’s political history. Sport, and in this case, cricket, reflected South Africa’s political and social processes. South African cricket embraces an ethos that is symbolic of a wider belief system and as such has distinctive political connotations in the region. Sport in South Africa is influenced by forces beyond the sports field, but politics too can be influenced by the social and economic force of sport. This thesis aims to show how cricket not only reflected, but was also able to exert pressure on South Africa’s political situation by focussing on the years 1989-1992. A historical analysis of these years will illustrate how cricket assisted the transformation process in South Africa.