Zola Budd's fast tracked British passport at the height of apartheid

In the United Kingdom, new documents have now emerged from an archive showing that the British cabinet was divided over whether or not Zola Pieterse, who was Zola Budd at the time, should be allowed to run for Great Britain in the 1984 Olympic games.

This was a hugely controversial issue as Budd was a South African runner who was given a British passport which bypassed international sanctions against apartheid.

UK correspondent Peter Anderson speaks to The Midday report's Stephen Grootes about these government papers, which in the UK are declassified after 30 years.

The latest release of papers from the archives office show a spat at the very highest level of government, with the Home Affairs Department, the Home Office, keen to fast-track Zola Budd's application for a British passport, but the Foreign Office as well as diplomats, urging a delay.

Peter Anderson, UK correspondent

Budd applied for citizenship because one of her grandfathers was British. Controversially within ten days of lodging her formal application, she was handed her British passport.

It shows those who wanted her on the GB team for the Olympics was successful.

Peter Anderson, UK correspondent

This despite strong anti-apartheid opposition in London at the time and concerns from the Home Office.

The Home Office at the time said it was a political minefield... and feared it may lead to boycotts of the Olympics.

Peter Anderson, UK correspondent

The recently released papers show that at the time, the matter went right to the PM Margaret Thatcher at 10 Downing Street.

Listen to the interview below:

Read More
New ride sharing app demonstrates an appetite for car pooling

New ride sharing app demonstrates an appetite for car pooling

The uGoMyWay app allows people to share lifts if they are going in the same direction.

More South Africans on social grants than those earning an income

More South Africans on social grants than those earning an income

According to SAIRR researcher Gerbrandt van Heerden the number of people receiving social grants has increased by 328% since 2001.

KZN ANC divided on party's top spot

KZN ANC divided on party's top spot

Kwazulu-Natal is seen as the key province to win in the party’s leadership battle.

DA could take Mbete's decision on review if she doesn't grant secret ballot

DA could take Mbete's decision on review if she doesn't grant secret ballot

DA Federal Leader, James Selfe says Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng's ruling was the right one and the party welcomes it.

'Gupta Paid Twitter' plot to spy on journos months in the making

'Gupta Paid Twitter' plot to spy on journos months in the making

Surveillance pics and smear allegations about Business Day and Financial Mail's Peter Bruce emerged on a pro-Gupta site on Monday.

ANC caucus will not vote against President  - ANC Chief Whip #SecretBallot

ANC caucus will not vote against President - ANC Chief Whip #SecretBallot

Jackson Mthembu says voting the President out of power is in the interest of the DA.

Popular articles
Ntsiki Mazwai gets behind 24 hour social media boycott #DataMustFall

Ntsiki Mazwai gets behind 24 hour social media boycott #DataMustFall

Ntsiki Mazwai is asking South Africans to stay off social media on Wednesday in a #DataMustFall campaign.

Are you having panic attacks? Here's what you need to know

Are you having panic attacks? Here's what you need to know

Behavioural psychologist Dr Helgo Schomer explains the symptoms, treatments and tips for people who suffer panic attacks.

Absa must pay back the money - Gwede Mantashe

Absa must pay back the money - Gwede Mantashe

Mantashe also says that the Reserve Bank is within its rights to review Mkhwebane's remedial actions recommendations.

[LISTEN] Home Affairs says Ajay Gupta was never a SA citizen - Eusebius responds

[LISTEN] Home Affairs says Ajay Gupta was never a SA citizen - Eusebius responds

A statement released by Home Affairs confirms that Ajay Gupta only has a permanent resident permit and is not a citizen of SA.

CAPS is killing teachers passion - caller

CAPS is killing teachers passion - caller

CapeTalk caller says Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) is not good for South Africa's education system.