now let’s all keep a straight face shall we?
STATEMENT OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN EMBASSY, PARIS, FRANCE , ON THE DEBACLE REGARDING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM
Paris – The South African Embassy in Paris, France, has taken note with concern of media reports over the weekend that it was the Embassy in Paris that recommended a singer to render the National Anthem at the rugby match between South Africa and France on Friday, 13 November 2009. The Embassy shares the disappointment of all South Africans on the performance of the singer in his rendition of the National Anthem. The South African Embassy, as the Government’s representative in France, will always take the necessary steps to protect and promote our country’s national symbols.
On 4 September 2009, the French Rugby Union in Paris approached the South African Embassy in Paris for names of singers residing in France who could be contacted to sing the national anthem. The South African Embassy does indeed keep a list of South Africans residing in France and regularly provides relevant information to French interlocutors as may be appropriate. In all cases, the Embassy merely provides information but is often not in a position to vouch for the bona fides, credentials or competency of any of the parties. In this case, the embassy had only one name of a South African singer in France and the Embassy provided the name of his agent in France to the French Rugby Union. This was not a recommendation from the embassy since the embassy had no previous exposure to his performances nor is he a renowned performer.
During a meeting of 8 September 2009 with officials from the Midi-Pyrenees Rugby Union in Toulouse a request was made to the Embassy to suggest a South African singer residing in France to render the National Anthem during the match. Since this was not an embassy event the embassy maintained that it was not in a position to provide, source or recommend any artists and that they discuss this matter with the South African Rugby Union. The Embassy further undertook to inform them of any South African singers who might be touring France during this period. There was unfortunately no South African artist touring France during this period.
The Embassy had no subsequent dealings with any of the parties and rejects all claims that the embassy chose or imposed the singer. This was entirely the responsibility of the hosts.
The Embassy also took note of another incident involving its national symbols at the rugby match. In this case the South African Flag was hung the wrong way. South African diplomats attending the game immediately brought this to the attention of the French authorities but unfortunately, the French authorities indicated that it was too late to correct this.
The Embassy affirms that it was not responsible for sourcing, providing or recommending a singer to render the national anthem at the rugby match, and similarly, at any non-government event(s) held in France.
Dear South African friends,
I read some comment in S.A. blogs and I would like to thank you for your sportsmanship.
Of course it was not our intention to insult your country nor did we never ask this singer to disrespect your anthem.
It happened, we are very sorry, but we are not expert in anthem.
BTW: If you want to make fun of us, the French, we have our Ras Dumisani in France, called Doc Gyneco.
This said, it was a good game. Winning yesterday, loosing tomorrow, who care?
Vive the rugby.
Too right mate, vive le rugby indeed. Losing is kind of sucky when you get used to that delicious winning feeling – smiles all round, especially the three wise men in the studio, and the big hulking second rowers in interview post victory. But Matfield was dikbek in the interview, and was big man restless concerning the anthem. Viva dodgy rastas. viva!
Congratulations France on your win – your nation can be proud of your team. As far as the competence of your rugby union to host an international match, thumbs down. We are a Christian not Rasta nation and that was not our national anthem – an absolute insult – our captain should have left the field with his team until that ghastly fiasco was over.