Cosatu’s Tony Ehrenreich and a transformation group think some of the untransformed ‘Stellenbosch Mafia’ Springboks are ‘playing badly’ as part of a ‘classically’ racist plot.
More support has been garnered for trade union federation Cosatu’s claims yesterday that a group of white Springbok rugby players allegedly want to see the integrated Bok team and its coach fail – and that they are actively trying to play badly in order to sabotage the coach and the rugby transformation project.
SA Rugby has remained tight-lipped over the extraordinary claims, with a mere response of “no comment”.
Cosatu’s Western Cape secretary Tony Ehrenreich had alleged that: “Members of the Springboks, who previously approached Cosatu to look into the lack of transformation, signalled there is a group of white players who want to see this integrated team and coach fail.
“This may be behind the bad performance of some of the players in the last two matches [against Ireland],” he said.
“We should never underestimate the attitude of some rugby players and supporters, who are not supportive of this Springbok team and this transformation agenda,” Ehrenreich said. “These players who sabotage the performance of the Springboks must be investigated and removed from the Springboks setup.”
Rugby Transformation Forum chairperson Nqaba Malghas said his organisation actually held the same view.
“We hold the same view that there is institutionally an agenda – such is not beyond the powers that be in the rugby fraternity.
“The Springboks are a classic case of racism in post-democratic South Africa,” he said.
He added that he also believed these claims needed to be investigated.
“They must also explain why, within the 20-year period since 1994 … rugby wasn’t transformed when black players were there.”
Malghas said it was hoped that coach Allister Coetzee would not allow this to affect him.
“We hope Coetzee is a success and gets some support from other white coaches. This mustn’t be taken lightly, and he must speak to his core values.”
In its statement, Cosatu said the appointment of Coetzee was “a move in the right direction that unites our nation behind the Springboks”.
“The coach should be supported and given time to integrate the new style of play that is needed from South African rugby.
“The coach must also not relent to the pressures on him; we stand and fall by a representative Springbok team that has all our players included.”
Under Coetzee, the Springboks lost 26-20 to Ireland in Newlands two Saturdays ago. During the Test in Johannesburg over the past weekend, the Irish led by 19-3 at half-time. The Boks ultimately won 32-26 after a spirited fightback in the second half.
“The days of reserving some positions for some white players must be gone forever and we must also not include foreign players any longer. We have enough talent in the country to put together great teams that can win the matches,” said Ehrenreich.
“The coach must not panic and start ignoring players who are part of the squad for imported players. We want to see our squad on the field first before it is expanded to include others.
“Cosatu will continue to champion the interests of the black players who were excluded for white players who were promised positions from their fathers and the Stellenbosch mafia.
“We want a team that includes all the players in South Africa, both black and white, with no more guarantees for old white players.”
Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula recently placed a ban on hosting or bidding for international events on four sporting federations – Cricket SA, Netball SA, Athletics SA and SA Rugby – for, in his view, failing to address transformatio: Source : http://citizen.co.za