Home Sport Tributes pour in after death of former Sacos president

Tributes pour in after death of former Sacos president

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Tributes have been pouring in for the former President of the South African Council on Sport (Sacos) Frank van der Horst.

Fought for freedom: Frank van der Horst. Picture: supplied

Tributes have been pouring in for the former President of the South African Council on Sport (Sacos) Frank van der Horst.

The former leader of the anti-apartheid sports organisation who fought for non-racial sport in apartheid SA passed away on Monday at the age of 86.

His good friend and president of Sacos Legends, Jerry Seale, says Van der Horst was an outspoken and fearless activist, particularly between 1973 and 1994.

“He was the one who called on sports organisations in Sacos to re-dedicate and redirect Sacos to become a stronger supporter in the Liberation struggle against racist Apartheid to build a stronger principled united front of organised sports persons under Sacos,” he explains.

“He was a leader to take challengers to task and for that, he, and all the presidents of Sacos, was detained in Apartheid.”

Between 1982 and 1988, he presided over Sacos amid one of the darkest political eras in the nation’s history.

He also helped organise the Olympics of the Oppressed, also known as the Sacos Games or Sacos Festival, with former Sacos president Joe Ebrahim in 1982 and 1988, respectively.

Seale says Van der Horst was believed to be the frontrunner of the 1988 Olympic Sports Festival of the Poor People, the most successful festival ever in the country.

Speaking on behalf of the Board of the District Six Museum, Judge Siraj Desai described Van der Horst as a stalwart, friend and comrade.

He said:“ He played a significant role in different spheres of struggle in the Apartheid era, and afterwards, always alert to the machinations of the ruling class and Imperialism.

“We specifically recall his steadfast role in the continuing struggle for land restitution, of which District Six was of great significance.”

In 2022, Sacos in the Western Cape launched the Frank van der Horst Exhibition at the National Library of South Africa in the Company’s Garden.

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