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:


This article first appeared on 702 : Zola Budd's fast tracked British passport at the height of apartheid


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Wits Nehawu members down tools over salaries

Wits Nehawu members down tools over salaries

Nehawu Wits acting secretary Tumisho Madihlaba says negotiations with management deadlocked resulting in a strike.

Former Eskom interim CEO Sean Maritz under fire for signing off R400 mil payment

Former Eskom interim CEO Sean Maritz under fire for signing off R400 mil payment

‘Documents show that the fee contract was entered into by Anoj Singh & signed off by the acting CEO Sean Maritz' - Chris Yelland

‘Qedani Mahlangu helped people die then she ran away’ – Stephen Grootes

‘Qedani Mahlangu helped people die then she ran away’ – Stephen Grootes

Stephan Grootes shares his views on the events that unfolded at Life Esidimini and comments on Qedani Mahlangu’s apology.

Metrorail train derails due to vandalism on the central line

Metrorail train derails due to vandalism on the central line

The Central line was set to resume services on Thursday but has been postponed due to vandalism at Heideveld and Netreg stations.

Hawks Mulaudzi neither confirms or denies reports about possible Guptas arrests

Hawks Mulaudzi neither confirms or denies reports about possible Guptas arrests

Hawks spokesperson confirmed working closely with the NPA but cannot disclose cases it is working on until people are charged.

May the Fourth be with you, a celebration of Star Wars Day

May the Fourth be with you, a celebration of Star Wars Day

May 4 marks "May the Fourth be with you," Day celebrated by fans George Lucas' fans of his Star Wars global movie franchise.

Popular articles
[WATCH] The world literally laughs at Donald Trump

[WATCH] The world literally laughs at Donald Trump

Khabazela shares some of the most popular tweets, posts, and videos on 'What's gone viral'.

SA braces for horrific fuel price increases as oil hits 4-year high

SA braces for horrific fuel price increases as oil hits 4-year high

It's monstrous! The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews the Automobile Association of South Africa's Layton Beard.

Dros rape: 'He was sitting near the kid's play area...he had his eye on her'

Dros rape: 'He was sitting near the kid's play area...he had his eye on her'

The man allegedly attacked the six-year-old inside a toilet cubicle at a Dros franchise in Pretoria on Saturday.

New visa rules a relief for our economy and for jobs, says WC MEC

New visa rules a relief for our economy and for jobs, says WC MEC

The Western Cape government and SA Tourism have welcomed the amendments to South Africa's visa regulations.

'She says I'm just waiting for this c**lie to move so I can take the photo'

'She says I'm just waiting for this c**lie to move so I can take the photo'

A caller on the Eusebius McKaiser Show, Zeenat says she was called a derogatory word for Indian on Heritage Day.