Inquiry to investigate SA under-19 cricket captain’s pro-Israel comments at awards ceremony

Inquiry to investigate SA under-19 cricket captain’s pro-Israel comments at awards ceremony
David Teeger of SA Emerging during the CSA One Day Cup, Division 2 final match against ITEC Knights at Mangaung Oval on 20 October 2023 in Bloemfontein, South Africa. (Photo: Charle Lombard / Gallo Images)

David Teeger, who was set to captain South Africa’s under-19 cricket team at next year’s junior World Cup, could have that honour taken away following comments he made at the Jewish Achiever Awards.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) has appointed an independent inquiry to determine whether comments made by South Africa under-19 cricket captain David Teeger breached either the CSA or Central Gauteng Lions codes of conduct, CSA announced on Sunday.

Teeger (18), the head boy of King Edward VII School (KES), said the following after receiving the Rising Star Award on 22 October at the Absa Jewish Achiever Awards at Sandton Convention Centre:

“Yes, I’ve been [given] this award, and yes, I’m now the rising star, but the true rising stars are the young soldiers in Israel. And I’d like to dedicate it to the state of Israel and every single soldier fighting so that we can live and thrive in the diaspora.”

Teeger’s words were reported by the South African Jewish Report on 26 October.

This was flagged by the Palestine Solidarity Alliance (PSA), which lodged an official complaint with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc), CSA and Gauteng Lions Cricket for Teeger to be suspended from representing the national team following his “provocative, biased and inflammatory” comments.

Teeger was announced by CSA as captain of a provisional 18-player under-19 World Cup squad for the tournament in January next year.

South Africa was last week confirmed as the host of the biannual tournament after the initial host, Sri Lanka, and its board were provisionally suspended from the International Cricket Council because of extensive government interference in the board’s administration.

CSA held a board meeting on Saturday in Johannesburg where the decision was made to appoint an independent inquiry into Teeger’s statement, which will be adjudicated by advocate Wim Trengove.

“The inquiry will be conducted expeditiously and the decision of Adv Trengove as well as his reasons will be made public,” CSA said. 

The situation is thorny, given that Teeger is not contracted by either CSA or the Central Gauteng Lions despite playing for both (at under-19 level).

CSA board chairman Lawson Naidoo referred Daily Maverick to the CSA statement when asked for further comment.

Attempts by Daily Maverick to reach Teeger were unsuccessful, but a source close to him said that Teeger regretted his statement.

Teeger’s comments follow the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas after Hamas launched a series of attacks in southern Israel on 7 October, killing at least 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking about 240 hostages.

In response, Israel launched a full offensive on the Gaza Strip, which by Sunday had, according to Hamas, killed more than 15,000 people, mostly civilians.

Teeger, who is an orthodox Jew, is currently writing his matric exams. The batter has never received media training as he has never had a professional cricket contract.

In its statement, the PSA called for Gauteng Lions and CSA to establish an inquiry into Teeger’s comments.

The PSA called Teeger’s comments a “provocative and inflammatory political statement, worsened by the fact that he made it at a time when thousands of innocent Palestinian people, men, women, children and babies were being killed by the Israeli army”.

They demanded that Teeger be suspended from representing the Gauteng Lions and the SA under-19 side at the World Cup next year.

Whether either will be done is up to the independent inquiry to decide. The inquiry will also establish whether CSA has a leg to stand on in either case as Teeger is not formally contracted by either entity. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Casey Ryder says:

    No doubt the PSA also want him to be forced to wear a yellow star of David at all times. No room for anyone to have a different perspective on the conflict from that of thePSA.

  • Agf Agf says:

    Good for him. Brave young man.

  • alisoncope1 says:

    Teeger was speaking as a Jew at a Jewish event, having received an award for his personal achievements. His comments were reported, not in the wider, general media, but in The Jewish Report. If he is penalised for this then we are no longer living in a democracy and there is no freedom of speech.

    • Robin Kemp says:

      South Africa will likely lose an outstanding young man.

      • Malcolm Mitchell says:

        I agree, this is another South African who shortly will shine internationally in the colors of another country, as many of our cricketers have notably Kevin Petersen.

    • Cedric Buffler says:

      Apparently it is now a requirement of our society to hate those that are officially hated by the ANC. Our freedoms are being severely eroded to further their political ambitions. Hopefully most sane South Africans are able to see the smoke and mirrors and avoid their influence.
      Also hopefully, South Africa will not lose yet another rising star as a consequence of this.

  • Niek Joubert says:

    What happened to freedom of speech? This is becoming a dictatorial communist state.

    • Ivan van Heerden says:

      There is freedom of speech in South Africa as long as it is Stupid, i.e. Anything the ANC says, Racist, cue EFF and Fundamentalist, cue Radical Islam’s one sided narrative. The second anything contrary to those three golden rules is spoken said freedoms go out the window

      • Ajay San says:

        Surely the ICC should now move this tournament to another country where there is freedom of speech, no political interference, selection based on merit.

  • Stuart Hulley-Miller says:

    Teeger is 18 yrs old and still at school. He is entitled to his opinions but has no training in professionalism or media. He is an obviously capable and driven young man/boy.
    This is a classic example of wokeism at work to cancel any and all comment that does not agree with. This should not be happening and I sincerely hope the enquiry delivers a sane and unbiased conclusion.

    • Kenneth FAKUDE says:

      Unfortunately he knows sports and he should have focused on what he knows, it’s unfortunate that at 18 he doesn’t know there is 2 sides to a story and if you choose a side you must have a true conviction you are choosing a sparkling clean side otherwise there will be repercussions, even is who have taken time to study the situation we highlight what Israel is doing wrong and why we don’t justify Hamas directing their well justified anger towards innocent civilians and by the way the civilians abducted confessed they have been well looked after, when they are handed over to red cross they wave to the Hamas militants, this 18 year old young man is influenced by the west and Israel propaganda he needs to learn fast, history is not sport and you cannot wish it away

  • Rod H MacLeod says:

    Sri Lanka lost the bid to host the under 19 World Cup due to government interference. Surely, the irony of the PSA calling for interference in this instance cannot escape them? I’m afraid but whatever level of empathy I felt for the PSA has now evaporated. They are definitively anti-semitic.
    May I urge those who have not yet listened to the speech of a son of one of the Hamas co-founders to go to Youtube and search “son of Hamas co-founder denounces Hamas” and watch and listen.

  • Barry Taylor says:

    Congratulations to the person and dont allow the KSA board intimidate him.They are a bunch of anc cronies
    May he remain the captain of the team
    When anything pro Hamas the terrorist organisation is siad nobody complains about it
    All the pro hamas rallies are condoned

  • Sara Gon says:

    His comments were that he dedicated his award to the young Israeli soldiers for their bravery and to the family (who his family he knows personally) for going ahead with the wedding of one son injured in clashes on 7/10 while his other brother is still listed missing ( probably dead). If that is challengeable then I’ll refer pro Palestinian statements made on Twitter by Rabada and the Take the Knee for BLM was a performative embarrassment by the very CSA itself. CSA’s BEE requirements for the future I suspect will see kids like Teeger seeking a career anywhere but here.

  • clifford07 says:

    So I suppose its ok for pro Hamas supporters to wave their flags, chant anti-semitic Israel and Jew hatred and use “provocative, biased and inflammatory” language – BUT its not ok to support the other side??
    No action against the Muslim/Palestinian/PSA support, but quick retaliation and demand for suspension and censure because he’s Jewish ????

  • Mark Wade says:

    Is it now a crime in South Africa to support Israel?

  • Fayzal Mahamed says:

    There is no room in our country for hate speech or support for genocide.
    Let the enquiry see if Teeger’s comments breached the code of acceptable speech.
    I have sympathy for Teeger as he seems to have unwittingly got into the wrong side of politics and has expressed regret.

    • Colin Louw says:

      There was no hate speech nor any support for genocide – get some lessons in English before you indirectly make the ridiculous accusation you made! It is fringe folk like you who in fact lead normal folk to reject any statement made by a side in a conflict. You state that Teeger is in “the wrong side of politics” so I presume if he made a statement denouncing the actions of Israel you would not have bothered to write? Maybe Teeger should merely have shown a picture of a woman cut open and the fetus removed without saying a word and then he would not have been actively supporting anyone? There is no code for acceptable speech that I can find. He was not and is not contracted to any of the cricket associations and for them to investigate his free speech is a true travesty of justice.

      • Fayzal Mahamed says:

        You state “Maybe Teeger should merely have shown a picture of a woman cut open and the fetus removed without saying a word and then he would not have been actively supporting anyone?”
        Yes, I agree, Teeger should have done exactly that and he would not have been supporting anyone.
        You state “there is no code for acceptable speech that I can find”. I disagree as in South Africa our courts has defined what hate speech is and so will the enquiry set up to examine Teeger’s comments.
        Also, in SA we have the rule of law under an unbiased legal system where Teeger can appeal to, if the CSA enquiry goes against him.

      • Kenneth FAKUDE says:

        He was wrong to choose a side on a conflict he barely has time or even maturity to understand even superpowers who supported Israel unconditionally are changing tune, although they were doing so not because of right or wrong but because it suited their biased foreign policies, you don’t just venture and make public statements on subjects you have not researched you can get into massive trouble, remember the west switch their loyalties when faced with embarrassment, the genocide in Gaza is forcing them into a rethink and that will leave blind supporters below the bus very close to the wheels

  • Patterson Alan John says:

    It is a sad state of the world when we are faced with this type of enquiry.
    Surely CSA has the balls to ignore the PSA call and state that the young man spoke at a private function and that everyone is entitled to freedom of speech,
    What might be the reaction from PSA had Squirrel supported Israel? Would an advocate be appointed to sanction the President?
    Anyone is entitled to dedicate a personal award to whomever they wish.
    Were the Islamic community is South Africa held accountable for the acts of ISIS and vilified? No.
    Were the Islamic community of South Africa held accountable for the Al-Qaeda attack on the Twin Towers and vilified? No.
    Why does the Jewish community in South Africa now have to bear the wrath of anti-Israeli sentiments just because they are of the same faith?
    Has anyone considered this, or has the populist noise drowned the ability for people to think rationally?

  • Andrew Johnson says:

    The ICB take the U19 World Cup due to over interference in the Sri Lanka Crickt Board. That can’t be any worse than woke and terrorist involvement in this matter.
    Take the World Cup to the West Indies they dont suffer wokes easily.

  • Allan Wolman Wolman says:

    This bodyline delivery will deservedly cause CSA to be Run Out!

  • Ajay San says:

    David, go to Australia where your ability will be welcomed and no racist quota will interfere with your progress to greater things

  • Tony Freeman says:

    Hamas is a terrorist organisation and in it’s manifesto states that it will not accept Israel as a state in the middle east and will continue the war until the total elimination of the state of Israel and all its people. If this is not an abhorrent statement of genocide, then I don’t think the PSA has a justifiable stance on the subject.
    The hypocrisy of the ANC and the government particularly Ramaphosa is also a fact when seen from the Ukraine Russian war perspective.
    Free speech is in serious jeopardy if the PSA statement is considered in any serious sense at all.

  • John P says:

    Teegar’s comment is being blown out of all proportion by the pro Palestinian movement, he is entitled to his opinion and to make a statement such as the one he made.

    That said many of the comments from Daily Maverick readers are biased and irrational, they are however also just people’s opinions but perhaps some restraint would get their points across to a wider audience.

    • dexter m says:

      if you have not read it yet , i would recommend the new article by Max Blumenthal in “The Grayzone” . regarding OCT 7 posterchild as it relates the new media campaign by Israel Foreign Minstry.

  • dexter m says:

    Give the kid a break . I read the article in Jewish Report . maybe we should look at his saying from the book Kohelet. But i do have a bone to pick with the reporter , she should have known the repercussions . To the PSA retract your motion , instead educate him on the conflict , that is what you do to kids , teach. To the Jewish community introduce him to Miko Peled for him to get a understanding of the history of this conflict.

  • Richard Hodgson says:

    Debate is the foundation of democracy. Stifling of debate should not be something that Daily Maverick is fostering in a reasoned and logical manner. The right of David Teeger to express his views is a foundation principle of democracy. Denying him his right, however distasteful to the editorial staff and many readers, rather than addressing his statements in a reasoned manner, pointing out the pain they cause and the logical errors they contain, fails to demonstrate journalism of high quality.

  • Henry Henry says:

    I suspect Lawless Naidoo & Co is behind this investigation.

  • To the majority of these commentators…’ve never experienced Apartheid and injustices….if you have one iota of racism in you…my advice to you will be,get out of this country before its too late..we have problems,,which is not insurmountable….but racists we re not going to tolerate …

    • John P says:

      Whilst the definition of racism is open to some interpretation this definition from Wikepedia is as good as most – “Racism is discrimination and prejudice against people based on their race or ethnicity”

      I do not see “racism” in the comments above, biased, bigoted, defensive and opinionated yes but racist – no.

    • dexter m says:

      i have . And this is not racism.

    • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

      Salaam thanks for your advice, but we’re not going anywhere. Furthermore Jews have experienced, and continue to experience, apartheid, hate and injustices unlike any group / race / people in the history of humanity. And still we stick around, despite guys like you threatening us. Well be South Africa long after you are gone. Yours sincerely, the South African Jewish Community.

    • Yaakov Rashi says:

      You are appropriating the word apartheid and blackness for a political cause. That’s disrespectful to actual victims of apartheid in SA.

  • Blaming a Jew for being Jewish, is like blaming somebody for being black. One cannot help to be what you are. If a young Jewish person can now not be the captain of SA’s under 19 Cricket team, because a terrorist organisation like HAMAS was ELECTED to be the representatives of the Palestinian people in GAZA, who are being used daily as human shields by these inherently cowardly excuses of human beings, then so be it. All lament the loss of life, on all sides. I’m sure that any Jew when confronted by ignorant people like the current SA government, who want to terminate diplomatic ties with the state of Israel, because of their very strong anti-semitic beliefs, will rather not represent a country that is wrong on all counts brought against it. History will show that our esteemed Protea team have regularly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, by selecting politically acceptable captains. Politics foregoing merit in our sport, will not just ruin the lives of athletes, it will also ruin the economics of sports in our country. The Jewish community did a lot to bring about political change in SA in the past, and it is interesting to see how short the memory of the current government is, on this subject today.

    • L T. says:

      Well said. Ramaphosa and his cronies have short memories. Anti semitism is wilful ignorance. Teeger only made one mistake – he thought he was living in a democratic country where freedom of speech was respected by all, especially at a closed function. His dedication to the IDF , who are helping preserve the existence of the only democratic state in the Middle East , is to be commended.

  • Vusi Dladla says:

    He should not represent the country. Anywhere in the world, sportsmen and women are not allowed to do this. Period

  • Yaakov Rashi says:

    It doesn’t matter what ‘side’ you’re on, it’s unlikely the tragic casualties of war in Gaza can be defined as victims of a Genocide. That word refers to deliberate targeting of civilians of an ethnicity without any attempt to avoid casualties. Secondly, It’s not unreasonable to feel pride in an army whose objective is to return hostages and bring a terrorist group who committed sadistic, intentional war crimes against both civilians and IDF soldiers.

    • John P says:

      Yaakov it is, from your comment, obvious which side you are on. The indiscriminate bombing and killing of civilians, withholding of the essentials of life such as water and medical care and massive military response that we have seen from the IDF is as close to genocide as makes no difference. I for one do not believe that this is a targeted response but is rather an excercise in revenge designed to keep Netanyahu in power.

      • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

        John from your comments, and use of phrases such as “indiscriminate bombings” and “killing of civilians” instead of acknowledging Hamas’s known tactics of sacrificing human shields, as well as passing unilateral judgment about “the massive military response that we have seen from the IDF is as close to genocide as makes no difference” – it is obvious which side you are on. That of Hamas
        all righteous indignation aside.

        • John P says:

          Mordechai I am not on the side of either party in this war, both Hamas and Israel are clearly in the wrong. Perhaps instead of your immediate blind support of the Israeli position it would sometimes be good to consider both sides and how the current situation has come about.

    • Kenneth FAKUDE says:

      I pray one day Israel and Palestine will get out of the dark hole more especially Israel who benefit from this dark place however allies, friends and whoever supports this nonsense only agree when it suits them but who in the right frame of mind will want a state that kills so many people by their side? i have seen war veterans waking up sweating at night haunted by those lives lost under their watch this goes for anyone who thinks killing is a solution forget the Hamas hogwash they feed you in propaganda news

  • dexter m says:

    Someone asked did me i agree with Hama’s manifesto. Most of my knowledge of Hamas was from news articles . I would recommend the book i found ” Hamas contained – The Rise and Pacification of the Palestinian Resistance” by Tareq Baconi Stanford University Press 2018. Gives a more detailed picture of this Group and contradicts most general assumptions . Any good books on Israeli political parties ?
    From wikipedia , which i do not totally trust , the majority of political parties in the Knesset see the River Jordan as the eastern border of Greater Israel .The 2018 Nation State Bill codifies into law ,1.” The right to exercise national self determination in Israel is unique to the Jewish people” 2.” Jewish settlements as a national value and mandates that the state will encourage and promote its establishment and development ” . 3. “Hebrew official language arabic downgraded to special status” . So Israel is only for Jewish people no independent Palestinian state even no equal rights for Palestinians living within it’s recognized current borders ( Christian and Muslim) . One extreme group affiliated to the settler party see the Euphrates River as the eastern border. To even start a discussion of peace or a 2 state solution Hamas and Israeli parties would all have to change their manifesto’s and Israeli parties would have to repeal the 2018 law. This law is more in line with Iran type democracy than the western values its profess.

  • Lewis Gerber says:

    CSA clowns should leave the young man alone. Everyone in this country is entitled to his/her opinion. Better to play your cricket in Australia where talent is preferred to political stance

  • Disgusting and horrendous. What is going on in South Africa and the world? Are we not allowed to have any say at all without being punished, unless it fits the political agenda.

  • melville.silke says:

    He doesn’t need C.S.A. should he be suspended.Talented to play for any other country.

  • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

    Headline in 2030:

    Teeger captains England to World Cup win
    Protease choke in semis, again

  • Eric Potgieter says:

    This is a young man influenced by the company he keeps and the family in which he has grown up. He is still ignorant and blind to the viciousness of opposing views. We can all learn a lot by listening to scholars of the Israel Palestine conflict, such as Profs Norman Finkelstein and Noam Chomsky.

  • Penny Philip says:

    He’s a ‘kid’ ! Why didn’t anyone check his speech?

  • Sydney Kaye says:

    “Investigated for a pro Israel remark” sounds rather sinister. I it a crime that necessitates an investigation.

  • Otho g wrong with his statement. In fact I would say that the PSA is showing bias in that the only opinion allowed is an opinion they share!

  • Nothing wrong with his statement. In fact I would say that the PSA is showing bias in that the only opinion allowed is an opinion they share!

  • Impie Mann says:

    The Zionist state sure has their troll army out in full support on this matter! The boy is only 18 and indoctrinated in his upbringing and religion. Hopefully, as he matures and learns, he will become one of the many Jews around the world who are pro Palestine and understand the iniquitous barbarity of Natanyahu’s regime.

    And no, Hamas is no less barbarous than Netanyahu’s cohorts, they just don’t have the Western media behind them like the Zionist state do. But Palestinians have every right to their ancestral and historical land, which is ALL of Palestine.

    • L T. says:

      Please tell me Impie when Netanyahu’s cohorts ever committed any of the Oct 7th barbaric artrocities that Hamas have publicly boasted about? Please enlighten me. Also, please provide incontrovertible proof that only Palestinians have a right to what they claim are their historical and ancestral lands. Your comment about the Zionest media makes me wonder if you ever read anything other than DM or watch any local or international TV news channels where blatent pro Palestinian bias is the order of the day.

      • John P says:

        The comment mentioned western media not Zionist media which is an important distinction as I would expect Zionist media to be pro Zionist and would hope for a more balanced outlook from western media in general.

    • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

      When these children “indoctrinated in their upbringing and religion” (i.e. Jewish) “hopefully mature and learn and become one of the many Jews around the world who are pro Palestine” – their own children will no longer be Jewish. 100%, full money-back guarantee.

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