Department of Sport, Arts & Culture Pays Tribute to Mluleki George

8 January 2021

Photo from:  Cricket World - Reuters

The Department has learned with sadness and shock of the passing of Mr Mluleki George. George a former International Rugby Board (IRB) and South African Rugby Union (SARU) board member is deceased at the age of 72.

Mluleki George will be remembered, more especially by the Department for his sterling contributions and fight against the Apartheid sports, especially rugby. He was regarded as a unifying figure in sport. George was deputy defense minister from 2004 to 2008, He was elected to represent the ANC in Parliament after the first democratic elections.

Further to a lengthy list of political positions held, from a sporting perspective, George was president of Border Rugby Union until his arrest in 1976 and his subsequent sentencing of five years on Robben Island in 1978.

After his release, George was once again elected president of Border Rugby Union from 1986 to 1991.The South African Football Association (SAFA) was founded in 1991 and for the first year George was selected as its chairperson.

Mluleki George was a founder member of National Sports Council in 1988 and a founder and executive member of the National Olympic Committee of South Africa in 1989. He was also president of the National Sports Council and United Border Rugby Union from 1991 to 2001 and served as a vice-president of the South African Rugby Football Union (SARFU) from 1993 until 1998.

His most protruding international rugby role, was as a member of the International Rugby Board (IRB) from 1994 to 1997. He was also appointed as a board member of South African Rugby Union in 2003.

His departure is an enormous loss to the country. Records prove that, He gave everything to see the people and the country free. The country has indeed lost another patriot who truly gave much and loved his country.

The Department couriers its earnest condolences to the family, friends, colleagues of Mluleki George and the sector at large.


Media enquiries:

Ms Zimasa Velaphi

Head of Communications and Marketing: Sport, Arts and Culture

Mobile: 072 172 8925, Email: