Daniel Dumile Qeqe

Stalwart of the liberation struggle

Dan Qeqe

Full name:          Daniel Dumile Qeqe
D.O.B:                   6 August 1929 – 20 June 2005
Birthplace:         Fort Beaufort
Nicknames:        “Baas Dan”  “DDQ”

An article written by Gary Boshoff shortly after the passing of DDQ in June 2005 –

“Go well, Baas Dan 

A stalwart of the liberation struggle and hero of the struggle for non-racial sport, Dan Dumile Qeqe (DDQ) will be laid to rest on Wednesday. 

I was privileged to attend the memorial service of uncle Dan (or "Baas Dan", as he was affectionately called by his compatriots), which was held on Sunday in the Centenary Memorial Hall in New Brighton, in the Nelson Mandela Metropole. 

The people of the Eastern Cape came out en masse to pay tribute to one of the great sports administrators of South Africa - a fact not readily acknowledged outside the non-racial sport fraternity of South Africa. 

In attendance were dignatories like Dr Ali Bacher, Brian van Rooyen, Danny Jordaan, Bulelani Ngcuka, Silas Nkanunu, the mayor of the Nelson Mandela Metropole, political leaders and many more. 

As I was listening to speaker after speaker relating the life history of uncle Dan, I could not help but feel ashamed of my own ignorance about the inestimable impact Dan Qeqe had on the liberation of his people and in the establishment and administration of non-racial sport, rugby in particular. 

The particular hardships he faced in his community were unknown to us, his players - the ones he looked after as manager of the Kwaru and Saru teams. 

Opppressive period 

Danny Jordaan related how in the very opppressive period of the early and mid-seventies uncle Dan steered the ship of non-racial rugby and cricket in the Eastern Cape. 

During these dark days of apartheid Dan Qeqe was the voice of his community, campaigning for better living conditions despite being harassed and later detained by the infamous Special Branch of the South African Security Police. 

When his non-racial rugby union, the Kwazekele Rugby Union (Kwaru) was denied access to sports grounds administered by the then Bantu Administration Board, he mobilised the community and built his own rugby stadium, the Dan Qeqe Stadium - later in 1975, the SA Cup Final between Tygerberg and Kwaru was played there. 

Today this stadium stands as a memorial to the father of Kwaru rugby. 

At a time when so-called "great South African rugby administrators" like Danie Craven and his establishment counterparts were sipping red wine at international matches against the visiting All Blacks, British Lions, French and English, Dan Qeqe was fighting the apartheid system in an effort to secure a better life for his people and sport facilities for his rugby and cricket clubs. 

100 years of black rugby 

Today all of us reap the benefits of his struggle. It is indeed ironic and sad that today, after more than 100 years of black rugby, the selection of black players in the national side still raises controversy. 

A grave indictment against South African rugby as a whole. 

Dan Qeqe's life serves as an inspiration to those sport administrators who, still today, champion the cause of non-racial sport and the creation of equal opportunities for black sportsmen and women. 

We owe it to the Dan Qeqes, Millin Petersens and Abdullah Abasses that carried this torch in the past. Their legacy will inspire us to continue the fight for justice in sport. 

We will not forget DDQ!!” 

- Gary Boshoff is a former SARU player and a well-known administrator.

Dan Qeqe is the late grandfather (maternal) of Lihlu Vabaza – founder of VSC. His teachings and influence are the foundation upon Vabaza Sports Consultancy is built.

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