The taxi driver in Sydney was lost and the clock was ticking. He didn't know where the SCG was but he had set off anyway, meter ticking. Now he'd pulled over and was inspecting the map book.

Eventually we arrived - at the wrong end of the stadium but at least we were there - but the clock was ticking and there was much to be written. Not, unfortunately. about the Test match, but about the racist taunts that had continued to smear the tour.

I bumped into a man eating a pie, a meat pie - the Australian national dish (or is it the 'Lamington'?) - but it was too hot inside and he lurched backwards from it as he took a bite. As if that would help.

He had a beer in the other hand (10.18 am, as I recall) and it splashed down his shirt and across his flip-flops making them sticky for the rest of the day.

As he leapt away from his scolding pie sucking air in through the sides of his mouth he reversed into me.

"Strewth, mate, sorry!" he said quickly before noticing the Paddington Bear accreditation label we journalists wear around our necks so that security staff can single us out and deny us entry without valid reason.

"You a journo, mate?" he asked keenly, but politely. "Where from? South Africa!!"

"Mate, what's with Anndray Nel? Is he all there, mate? Seriously, the boys were wondering...what's he like at home?"

Nel had calmly pointed out a member of the crowd to a security guard the previous day for calling him a "kaffir boetie". The team's collective patience was rapidly running out and I'd heard the talk from back home in Jo'burg that administrators were discussing a team 'walk-off' if not a return home if it continued. It was all I was thinking about and the man with the pie was distracting me.

"Mate, can I ask you another question?" he said after we'd been chatting for three or four minutes. I was late but, despite myself, I was enjoying his company. He obviously hadn't had too much to drink (yet) and seemed like the better sort of Aussie 'lad'.

"What does that word actually mean, you know, the 'kafeere' word," he said, making a complete hash of the pronunciation.

He had an idea, of course, but wasn't certain. He struck me as the kind of guy who could be persuaded (with a couple of hundred dollars and half a dozen beers) to shout such a taunt towards the end of the day. Just for a laugh. He knew it was rude but had no idea of how rude.

I could have tried to explain it to him but there is no Australian equivalent. The country may have had a few sinister moments in its history but there was no apartheid. No secret burial grounds for torture victims and no hatred on the scale that existed in South Africa, despite the appalling treatment centuries ago of the Aboriginal population.

So the best way of educating the yobs and slobs who infect the majority of decent sports lovers amongst Australia's sporting crowds is to ask them, politely, not to make racist taunts. And them to remove them - forever - from the terraces.

If Cricket Australia are serious about their "Zero Tolerance" attitude towards racial abuse then they will do more to identify offenders and then issue life bans to them.

Neil Manthorp is a South African broadcaster and journalist, and head of the MWP Sport agency