Smit: Old flag an insult

John Smit has condemned the display of the old South Africa flag by a few supporters during the two clashes against England at Twickenham.

Among the thousands of rugby supporters at Twickenham on Saturday, at least four fans were carrying old South African flags.

Smit said the episode was embarrassing to the Springbok players.

“Here we are, representing our country – the new South Africa – and all the people back home, and some people come to the stadium to insult all 44 million South Africans, in our name. We distance ourselves totally to such mischief. We are proud of the new flag, the anthem and the country.

“The Springboks fully endorse the new non-racial order in our country and look at our supporters as people who are proud of the new ethos of equality. While we appreciate support from all South Africans, we call upon all our supporters to respect the new South Africa and the sense of dignity it seeks to give to all of its citizens – irrespective of their political beliefs.”

Bok manager Zola Yeye also distanced the team from the rogue section of the Bok supporters.

“It is disgusting that these people are displaying such unpatriotic behaviour, in the name of the Springboks,” said Yeye. “It is all in bad taste, and we do not want to be seen to be condoning such rude behaviour. What does it say of us in a foreign land?”

Meanwhile, Yeye also announced that a hamstring injury to Andre Pretorius has necessitated the recall of Meyer Bosman to the squad that will face the World XV on Sunday in Leicester. Bosman made his Test debut on the 2005 end-of-year tour, but fell out of favour with the Bok selectors this season.