Angry Stofile puts pressure on Saru

Makhenkesi Stofile has called on Saru to take swift action against Peter de Villiers for his Bees Roux comments.

Last Monday De Villiers said the Boks support murder accused Bees Roux 100%, a comment that has caused an uproar. Saru has said little on the matter, apart from president Regan Hoskins saying there will be formal discussions later this month with De Villiers on the matter.

If Hoskins backs De Villiers’ comments, he’ll come under fire from the government, while if he doesn’t, Stofile called on him to take action.

‘I am angry,’ Stofile told reporters after attending a sports portfolio committee meeting on Tuesday. ‘I did not hear him make the comments, but I received the message that he said we are wholeheartedly behind this chap who killed the policeman, 100%. That is disgraceful. It doesn’t matter what the circumstances were. I can’t believe he said this.

‘I have written a letter to the president of rugby (sic) to seek an explanation of whether the coach’s comments were reflecting the attitude of South African rugby on this murder, and if not, what are they doing about it.’

Stofile rightly added that South African rugby’s already tarnished reputation is being further tainted by De Villiers’ repeated public gaffes.

‘I think that Saru, if that happened the way I am told it did, they must follow the due process and deal with it. It is a serious matter of dragging the organisation into total disrepute. They must deal with that matter. It is totally unacceptable,’ he said.

‘I know Peter from when he was still a young scrumhalf for the Boland Rugby Union. I was the deputy president of the South African Rugby Union at that time. I advised Peter after a function in Paarl [in 2008] to find himself a spokesperson and not expose himself to you guys.

‘Remember what he said about the British Lions and their eyes, and the lions of the Kruger National Park, and then about Hamilton and their hotels? These are the sort of things I was trying to protect him from saying.

‘Dealing with the media needs a special skill and special acumen. He likes to talk, and I asked him to talk to a spokesperson. Now he didn’t do that. He said in one interview that nobody tells him what to do, and I agree with him. He doesn’t listen.’