News24 reports the Minister of Sport Makhenkesi Stofile on Thursday slammed the “re-emergence of the erstwhile ambassadors of apartheid” in South African rugby.
Stofile was responding to a public campaign launched by AfriForum and a group of former Springbok rugby captains on Tuesday when they handed over a petition to the SA Rugby president, Oregan Hoskins, calling for an end to political interference in the sport.
Among those participating in the campaign were Wynand Claasen, Theuns Stofberg, Hannes Marais, Abie Malan and Johan Claasen whom the minister described as “beneficiaries and ambassadors of apartheid”.
“… all of them have willingly wheeled and oiled the apartheid wagon.
“Their campaigns in New Zealand, South Africa and elsewhere, especially the 1981 tour of New Zealand, caused unforgettable pain and rupture in countries of the world. It prolonged our suffering and segregation,” Stofile said in a statement.
“We regret this apparent rattling of the skeletons in the apartheid cupboard. Their gaunt eyes of injustice seem jaundiced in their interpretation of issues and in their selection of battlefields.”
He said they would not be allowed to re-impose their political will on South African rugby in their attempt to protect the benefits of apartheid bequeathed to their children.
Stofile added that anyone implying that newly appointed Springbok coach Peter De Villiers was hired because of the colour of his skin was either an “imbecile or a down right mischief maker”.
“They must be treated with the contempt they deserve,” he said.
AfriForum on Tuesday told Hoskins that “political interference and race-based policies in rugby” contravened the rugby union’s constitution as well as regulations of the International Rugby Board (IRB) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Sharksworld editor note:
Is Stofile really claming we are all imbeciles for thinking de Villiers skin colour never helped him get the job when that is the official SARU line as espoused by none other than the chairman of SARU and the man responsible for the appointment, Mr. Oregan Hoskins himself?
To quote Hoskins: “I want to be honest with South Africa and say that the appointment was not entirely made for rugby reasons,”
Stofile would do well to remember what others have publicly stated in order to keep his own story straight.
It seems the powers-that-be want to claim de Villiers appointment as a victory for transformation when it suits them but also as a rugby decision when times call for the move to be defended.
I feel very sorry for Peter de Villiers – he’s going to be used as a pawn in this sick game and the way he’s going to be made to run from pillar to post will make Jake White’s treatment look like Sunday school.
De Villiers, in my opinion, deserves better than this.
SA Rugby, in my opinion, deserves better than Stofile. Both of them.Tweet