David Teeger, the captain of the South African U/19 cricket team, is to face an independent inquiry after he stated his support for the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) at a recent awards evening.
Teeger was speaking at the Jewish Achiever Awards last month, where he was awarded the Rising Star award. He dedicated his prize to the soldiers of the IDF, being quoted as saying: ‘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.’
Teeger, who is also the head boy of King Edward VII (KES) school in Johannesburg, was reported to Cricket South Africa (CSA) by the Palestinian Solidarity Committee.
At a board meeting over the weekend, CSA decided that Teeger’s comments would be the subject of an independent inquiry.
In a statement CSA said: ‘The board resolved to appoint an independent inquiry to be adjudicated by advocate Wim Trengove SC, to determine whether Mr Teeger breached either the CSA or Central Gauteng Lions codes of conduct. The inquiry will be conducted expeditiously and the decision of advocate Trengove, as well as his reasons, will be made public.’
The Central Gauteng Lions are Teeger’s provincial team.
Karen Milner of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies was quoted by News24 as saying: ‘It would be a very sad day in our country if SA citizens were deprived of their constitutional rights to appease people with political agendas. This campaign to intimidate Jewish South Africans and all supporters of Israel infringes on our precious right to freedom of speech. It is ironic that the toxic and dangerous rhetoric being bandied about by some political leaders in our country goes unchallenged, while a schoolboy speaking at a Jewish community event, where he was receiving a Rising Star award, is bullied into toeing a specific line on international relations policy.’
Teeger’s father, James, was also a cricketer, and played a handful of games for the then-Transvaal in the early 1990s.