Tony Ehrenreich has threatened a “mass radical programme” if the Springboks’ Rugby World Cup squad does not meet transformation expectations.
Cosatu’s Western Cape secretary last night hosted a meeting for the Springbok Supporters for Transformation group, also led by former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers.
De Villiers spoke about his time as coach, and slammed the South African Rugby Union’s (Saru) treatment of him and non-white players.
Ehrenreich warned that if coach Heyneke Meyer’s 31-man squad – named tomorrow – did not meet expectations, Cosatu would take action.
“We will wait for the announcement of the team on Friday, hoping it meets the expectations of supporters nationwide,” he said.
“If it does not, we will embark on a mass radical programme, the likes of which have never been seen.”
In a statement, Cosatu demanded the following:
* A more representative team going to the World Cup, which meets the 30 percent black player target;
* That players of colour get game time, and not merely be “bag carriers”;
* Captain Jean de Villiers should not be included in the squad if he is not fit.
Ehrenreich added that Cosatu would withdraw all funding and sponsorship for the national team and protest at the games until “change” occurs.
De Villiers then lamented the lack of transformation in SA rugby, experienced during his tenure as coach from 2007 to 2011.
“We are treated like stupids because we are black,” he said. “This is the sport that has the ability to build our nation and Saru is using it to break us down.
“I was not good enough to be coach, but I [won the Tri-Nations and beat the Lions in 2009]. That they forget so easily.
“I will never support another team, but I cannot support our current team.”
De Villiers said transformation was so lacking in the Boks, that 10 players of colour would compete for one position.
“Our black players have always been at a disadvantage and forced to face off against each other,” he said.
“Whoever remains in the team is the only one who makes it. The other 9 out of 10 would disappear. These boys would be bought out of school and then won’t make the team, and that would be the end.”
He added that “there were only really ever two black players” who were part of his team and they only fit in “because they changed into what SA Rugby wanted”.
Now, he says, it is time for to commit to change. - Daily Voice