Beast not going anywhere

2010-01-12 22:44
Beast Mtawarira (Gallo Images)
John Bishop

Durban - Springbok prop forward Beast Mtawarira will be staying and playing his rugby in Durban this year.

This assurance came from Sharks CEO Brian van Zyl on Tuesday and follows reports that the Zimbabwean loosehead could be deported from South Africa because he is playing in this country as a foreigner.

“We have complied with all the necessary requirements,” Van Zyl said. “He is with us on a skills’ work permit and we have all the necessary paperwork.”

Van Zyl said that Makhenkesi Stofile’s Sports Ministry was in conflict with SA Rugby over Mtawarira.

“But this is certainly not a Sharks matter or our problem,” he added.

Butana Komphela, the combative chairman of the National Assembly sports committee, was again in the headlines on Tuesday when he claimed that the SA Rugby Union would be punished for fielding Mtawarira in the Springbok team last year and that he planned to deport the powerful 24-year-old Zimbabwean.

“The government is going to punish rugby. We are going to charge SA Rugby for fielding a foreign national without proper requirements. We have inquired as to why the Beast is still playing for the Springboks if he is a foreign national in contravention of the laws.”

But Komphela then apparently contradicted himself over the deportation threat when he added that the Beast could continue playing for the Sharks.

“We have no problem with him playing for the Sharks. They keep on renewing his contract, but this doesn’t mean he has acquired citizenship.”

The thorny question of Mtawarira’s availability for the Boks was raised again when the Pakistan spinner Imran Tahir was withdrawn from the South African cricket squad ahead of this week’s fourth and final Test at the Wanderers.

Komphela claimed that Mtawarira should have been withdrawn from the Boks’ overseas tour by SA Rugby late last year. Instead the prop played in two Tests overseas and Komphela said they would now be punished.

SARU president Oregan Hoskins on Tuesday dismissed the allegation that he had broken the law and added that Makhenkesi Stofile had cleared Mtawarira to play.

Hoskins said that he would again meet with the Sports Ministry to clarify the Beast’s position (with the Springboks) and he remained positive the problem could be resolved.

“We are going to try and sway the government to look at this as a special case, which is not unprecedented in other countries,” Hoskins told reporters. “The Beast has been here since just out of school and has given his life to rugby. I am going to make sure I cover every nook and cranny to make sure we comply with the immigration laws of South Africa.”

A senior South African rugby official said yesterday that Stofile and his Sports Ministry officials were at loggerheads with SA Rugby because of the perceived slow rate of transformation at Springbok and Super 14 level and because they feel they feel “the rugby bosses have not done enough to back the Eastern Cape franchise.”

“The fact that Hoskins beat off the challenge of Makhenkesi Stofile’s brother Mike in the race for the SARU presidency last year could well be another reason why rugby has been frequently targeted by the Sports Ministry,” he added.



Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs

The five candidates for SA Player of the Year have been revealed. Who gets your vote?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.