The phoenix rises again…

Written by Jonathan Burt (VinChainSaw)

Posted in :In the news on 5 Mar 2008 at 12:50
Tagged with :

Chris Hewitt reports for news24 that Oregan Hoskins meets with Schalk Burger snr and Andre Markgraaff on Wednesday. He described the meeting to me as a “social visit”, but with presidential elections looming at the end of the month, there are few around who’ll buy that one.

More accurately, Hoskins’s meeting with Markgraaff is an attempt to tap into the former Bok coach’s renowned influence with the smaller unions. It’s pure politicking and an effort to build a winning alliance against challenger Mike Stofile.

Hoskins ran against Brian van Rooyen in the last election as the candidate of integrity. He promised to change the politics of rugby administration in favour of transparency and openness.

In meeting with Markgraaff, he has shown that four years at the helm of South African rugby has made him the candidate of business as usual. He is now part of the establishment, the status quo, striving to cling on to power, and willing to associate himself with anyone in order to do it.

Great survivor

Hoskins was quick to stress to me that there would be “no promises” made to Markgraaff, but would not deny that the upcoming election would be discussed.

Markgraaff has proven to be the great survivor of South African rugby. A racial slur, repeated non-performance as a coach and numerous resignations have failed to prevent him from resurfacing in prominent and influential positions year after year.

This is a man who may champion questionable policy but is a master politician. He knows that to get something, you give something. And he also knows that when a man is in Hoskins’s position, you are ready to deal.

Free of Jake White, “Markies’s” great nemesis who he campaigned tirelessly against, it now seems the man who South African rugby just can’t get rid off has set his sights on Stofile.

And he has found a willing cheerleader in Burger snr, a surrogate of Johann Rupert, part of the so-called “third force” uncovered in an SI investigation last year.

Personal animosity

What is amusing about Burger and Markgraaff’s alliance is that it is well known in South African rugby circles that the two despise each other.

Seldom are the two even in the same room such is the hostility, and their newly-found common ground is due to a mutual enemy rather than any softening in personal animosity.

It doesn’t take much analysis to realise this is “swart gevaar” all over again.

We live in a democracy and therefore Hoskins has the right to run for re-election, and no doubt there will be those who support his candidacy.

Surely, though, he has both the integrity and the insight to realise that the politics of Markgraaff, the backstabbing and the racism, are relics of the past.

Surely he realises that after a decade of having Markgraaff involved in various capacities, we have learnt that what is in Markgraaff’s best interest is seldom in South Africa’s.

Surely he has the ability to recognise that by associating with Markgraaff, he is associating with his ideals and behaviour.

Pull votes

He has been in the game too long to be allowed the excuse of naivety.

Therefore it can only be assumed that meeting with Markgraaff is a strategic move designed to pull votes. It reflects a win-at-all costs attitude, free of principles, and leaves me to shudder at some of the policy decisions that await should he emerge victorious.

South African rugby has moved on from Markgraaff. If Hoskins doesn’t too, it is time to move on from him.


  • How he keeps on coming back the Lord alone knows…

  • Comment 1, posted at 05.03.08 12:51:30 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • oh dear.

  • Comment 2, posted at 05.03.08 12:54:35 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Hoskins of all people should know better…

  • Comment 3, posted at 05.03.08 12:55:43 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • I think Hoskins knows which way the wind is blowing and is grasping at straws.

  • Comment 4, posted at 05.03.08 12:59:36 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Reckon Hoskins is sitting in the same situation as Mbeki.

    Problem is again that we have a lame duck at the helm with an aggressive wannabe challenging him.

    Problem is, similarly to the ANC election, that both candidates are poor, leaving us with a situation of choosing the better of two evils.

    You need to be really despearte to throw your lot in with Markgraaf.

  • Comment 5, posted at 05.03.08 13:07:27 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • yeah… I reckon he still makes a weekly trip (by tractor) to each of the country unions to canvas their support, though. No doubt drops off a bushel of mielies in return.

  • Comment 6, posted at 05.03.08 13:12:37 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • yawn. i will leave this blog before rob has to warn me again. i thought political articles were being banned robo.

  • Comment 7, posted at 05.03.08 13:15:41 by try time Reply

  • I thought so too ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Comment 8, posted at 05.03.08 13:22:19 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • i thought we were not giving these pricks the airtime they crave, on this site.

  • Comment 9, posted at 05.03.08 13:22:35 by try time Reply

  • I’m sure if we all exercise a bit of restraint, though, it will be ok

  • Comment 10, posted at 05.03.08 13:23:28 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • 05.03.08 13:22:19 – robdylan

    I think I missed the memo… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Comment 11, posted at 05.03.08 13:39:24 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • yeah… that’s cos I never sent it. Maybe I should… not sure.

    Fence-sitting is my new thing.

  • Comment 12, posted at 05.03.08 14:49:10 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Hell, die ou is ‘n suurknol ๐Ÿ™„ , was one of our clients, build a palace in Stellenbosch… ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

  • Comment 13, posted at 05.03.08 15:05:33 by Charlie Reply

  • robo put it to vote. i vote no politics on this site. so nothing on sa rugby administration, because this is a rugby site and saru has nothing to do with rugby.

  • Comment 14, posted at 05.03.08 15:19:00 by try time Reply

  • robo put it to vote. i vote no politics on this site. so nothing on sa rugby administration, because this is a rugby site and saru has nothing to do with rugby.

    05.03.08 15:19:00 – try time

    I wasn’t aware this was a democracy…

    Rules are simple – make a racist comment or act like an asshole and you’re taking an early shower…

    Or at least that’s how it was explained to me…

    Surely we’re all adults here?

    I reckon the leadership battle in SARU, irrespective of which way it will go, will have a massive influence on SA Rugby – how can we not report on that?

    Everytime the leadership has changed in the past we have seen a seismic shift in the fortunes and structure of SA Rugby.

  • Comment 15, posted at 05.03.08 15:51:58 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • Let me ponder this point, please? I agree with both of you, to varying degrees.

    One thing is for sure – we don’t need to be discussing matters of site policy on the blog like this. Expect an email from me in the next day or two while I decide.

    Let’s not discuss it further here, please.

  • Comment 16, posted at 05.03.08 15:57:26 by robdylan Reply
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