Cape Town – Cosatu has called on ministers and sport administrators to intervene and bring more black players into South African rugby.
The trade union federation released a media statement in which it criticises the white “old boys club” which it believes still rules rugby in South Africa.
It follows the Springboks’ 55-6 win over Scotland in Port Elizabeth at the weekend – a match which was preceded by SARU president Oregan Hoskins urging Bok coach Heyneke Meyer to pick more black players.
Meyer did include a few more black players in his squad for the game in Port Elizabeth, but Cosatu was not impressed.
“The old boys club in rugby still control things in the same way they always have and they manage their public relations to reinforce this,” Cosatu said via the media statement.
“The coach is always presented as now fixing the problems that Peter de Villiers (former Bok coach) caused, to undermine the latter, yet we are bringing back old players when there are existing new ones around. The team on the field is still over-represented by white players, even though there are many great black players in the squad.
“Looking at the match on Saturday, again black players are brought on to the field in the last five minutes, even though the Springboks are comfortably ahead. This is because the coach is scared that the black players will outshine the white players, if they get lots of game time. Even when players go off for injury, they are rushed back on because the black replacements may shine.”
Cosatu went one step further and even took a dig at the camouflage scrum cap which Bok captain Victor Matfield wore, believing it resembles the old Apartheid era.
“The arrogance of the white boys club continues to be displayed very publicly, an example being how Matfield wears an old South African riot squad skull cap, completely disregarding how this may impact on the sentiments of black South Africans. He should be told to wear a cap with new national symbols.”
When asked for comment, SARU said it would not get involved in political mudslinging, Beeld reports.