Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
4 Aug 2021
1:42 pm

Public questions Roland Schoeman’s political credentials

Wesley Botton

South Africans responded to Schoeman on social media with a long list of questions and criticisms.

Roland Schoeman in action at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Schoeman now wants to become a politician. Picture: Gallo Images

Former Olympic champion Roland Schoeman was given a baptism of fire on Wednesday after dipping his toes into the world of politics.

Schoeman revealed the day before that he had written to President Cyril Ramaphosa, formally making himself available for the sports minister’s post, currently held by Nathi Mthethwa, ahead of a potential cabinet reshuffle.

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Though he believed he could make a valuable contribution, however, South Africans responded to the 41-year-old retired swimmer on social media with a long list of questions and criticisms.

With no political background, some claimed Schoeman did not have the necessary experience to fill the post.

While he shone throughout his elite career, and he shared his academic qualifications with Ramaphosa, it was suggested that the three-time Olympic medallist did not have the credentials outside the pool.

One issue which was raised by multiple people was the absence of anything related to transformation in the letter to Ramaphosa, an aspect of the job which remains crucial.

He was also questioned about whether he could look beyond sport in a portfolio which includes the arts and culture sectors.

The response to Schoeman was not a blood bath, however, and he received a signifant amount of support as he attempted to launch his political career.