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Axcil Jefferies Cries Foul Over “Racial Discrimination”

High flying Zimbabwean motocross starlet, Axcil Jefferies feels hard done by Zimbabwe Motorsport Federation’s decision to exclude him from the Annual National Sports Awards (ANSA) saying the move was racially motivated and could lead him to making “tough decisions”.

Jefferies, who finished second overall in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Championship in Dubai, told 263Chat that the failure to have him nominated for the ANSA was purely on racial lines as he has done enough to deserve a place among the nominees for the top sportsperson of the year award.


“White kids have had colors over the years for just competing but I have won all these years at the highest level and have nothing to show for it. We have faced racism over the years before and this exclusion only motivates me and builds me up.

“ZMSF were challenged by my management three months ago on why I was not awarded colors for the past 17 years.
“They were warned that we would go public if they continued to sideline me. They then sent the forms and said they would submit my name to Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC).
“Clearly once again they did NOT. This is despite me having won seven International races and a championship,
Racism does not belong in any sport or anywhere for that matter. Sport is a business and sportsmen have short windows to showcase themselves, “said Jefferies while adding that he is considering alternatives , which could lead him to racing for other countries.
The 23 year old starlet is currently second in the European Lamborghini Championship with two wins and eight podium finishes.
He competed and completed two 24 hour Races in Europe in Renault RS01 GT3 in 2017, something he says has gone unnoticed by the ZMSF.

In a letter addressed to ZMSF’s Ralph Stead and Rose Rushforth, Axciel’s father Suhail Jefferies registered his dissatisfaction with the kind of treatment his son has received from the local Motorsport federation.

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“I refer to my Whatsapp messages to you both regarding my concern, or if I am honest my grievance regarding the treatment and handling of Axcil Jefferies race records and lack of acknowledgement from (the) ZMSF towards the fantastic achievements by Axcil over the last 17 years.

“I was absolutely shocked last week during my telephonic conversation with Rose when I asked why Axcil has still not been issued with Zimbabwe Colours and that I felt he deserved to be nominated for Sportsperson of the Year (award),” reads part of the letter.

Part of the email addressed to ZMSF by Suhail Jefferies.

“This fight is not about Axcil Jefferies but about the future of black and colored kids in Motorsport and other sporting discipline.
“I have an enormous platform at my disposal to sell Zimbabwe positively given the support.  I have been a flag bearer for a long time but I don’t get anything in return from relevant parties ,” conceded Jefferies.
Contacted for comment, ZMSF’s representative Rose Rushforth, professed ignorance over the issues saying she had nothing to say or clarify about the issue.
“I do not have anything to say to you, I can not say anything to anyone, I don’t owe anyone an explanation,” said Rushforth, whom Jefferies accuses of being at the center of the storm together with Ralph Stead, the Federation’s chairperson.
Independent Norton legislator, Temba Mliswa who also sits in the parliamentary committee on sports castigated racism in sports saying the vice has no place in any part of the society.
“Racism does not belong in any sport. A lot happens in this sport which goes unnoticed  and yes we understand that Motorsport is a minority sport which is mainly elitist but that does not warrant any racial abuse of any individual.
“The story of Axciel needs to be taken further to the Parliamentary Committee of sports so that it is looked into,” said Mliswa.
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Multi-award winning journalist/photojournalist with keen interests in politics, youth, child rights, women and development issues. Follow Lovejoy On Twitter @L_JayMut

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