Sports Minister Makhenkesi Stofile is “furious” about the comment by Springbok coach Peter de Villiers that the Springboks support Blue Bulls prop and murder suspect Bees Roux.
“Goodness man! Get yourself a spokesperson!” was the advice offered by Stofile to the Bok coach.
Stofile was approached by Die Burger for comment on the statement made by the coach.
“Even I don’t always understand what he says,” he added.
Stofile also believes it will be better for De Villiers to speak in his mother tongue, Afrikaans, if he does not feel comfortable in English.
According to Stofile, who attended a meeting of the parliamentary portfolio committee on sport on Tuesday, he was in China when De Villiers made the comment.
“It’s disgraceful to say that you support someone 100% when he possibly took another person’s life in such a brutal manner. If this was the old South Africa, he would have been charged as an accomplice for that kind of statement.”
Stofile now wants an explanation from SARU over whether they support the statement by De Villiers.
If not, he wants to know how they will act against the coach.
“The entire organisation’s name is being dragged through the mud. It’s unacceptable.”
Stofile said that he had advised De Villiers at the time of his appointment to get a spokesperson.
“I repeat that request today. With the kind of questions the media asks, I said that he would be sorry about something he said one day. You need special skills when talking to the media. And Peter is a man who loves to talk.
“Today we are embarrassed and angry about what he said. You can’t be delighted when someone is killed. Peter, please don’t expose yourself to the media like that.
“I agree totally that he should speak Afrikaans if he’s not comfortable in English. English is also not my first language and I also struggle with it at times. We think in our mother tongue and then have to verbalise the thought in English. And Peter talks very quickly.”
As for the public reaction to the Springboks’ losses, Stofile said that rugby is the sport that “stirs emotion” more than any other in South Africa.
“We don’t like losing and are hard and unforgiving when it comes to rugby.”
He believes one of the reasons for the team’s poor performances is that they play “too much rugby”.
“It’s not good for the body. We should not be tempted by money to the point that we are not prepared to rest our bodies.
“But every dark cloud has a silver lining. My advice to the coach is to give the youngsters a chance now before next year’s World Cup in New Zealand. We have nothing to lose. The older men won’t be getting any younger or stronger.”
I feel this is a positive reaction by the Minister. I hope he can force Peter to accept the need for a spokesperson.And yes we said it also , talk Afrikaans Peter.