Div digging himself a grave?

2010-09-02 11:37

Comment: Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Cape Town - I wouldn’t blame Nick Mallett if he was finding it harder and harder to suppress an ironic chuckle.

We know that the opinionated, larger-than-life former Springbok coach’s employers were earnestly seeking a peg to hang him on at the time anyway, but let’s not forget that he was axed from his job professedly because of his public utterances over “excessive” Test ticket prices.

Incumbent Peter de Villiers, as we already well know, is hardly lacking in the verbosity department himself.

In fact, I would say he has way, way eclipsed - albeit in his slightly higher pitch - the booming-voiced Mallett for being what journalists like to term “always worth a quote”.

And herein lies, I fancy, an ever-mounting source of embarrassment to his SARU bosses … with De Villiers, if anything, only cranking up the often-crackpot sound-bites rather than toning them down.

He has already in this Test season, remember, incurred the displeasure of the hands that feed him with his loose ramblings about referees being involved in a pre-World Cup conspiracy to blow kindly for the All Blacks.

And I suspect he is skating on increasingly thinning ice: ice that might even crack, or at least come desperately close to it, once the final Vodacom Tri-Nations match against Australia is safely out of the way.

Reading between the lines, it does seem as if De Villiers could face the music – loud music, even – over his clumsy, indelicate pro-Bees Roux comments following the Blue Bulls prop’s much-publicised arrest in relation to the death of a metro policeman in Pretoria.

SARU president Oregan Hoskins has diplomatically promised an “assessment” of the controversial coach’s statements, but it is just possible that diplomacy may not be a key theme to the inquiry.

For certain members of the rugby hierarchy are reportedly, and not altogether unexpectedly, livid over the perception that De Villiers was taking sides in the Roux matter - and seemingly on behalf of the Springbok team.

Frankly, it is beyond outrageous that De Villiers got involved, whatever the circumstances (and there are many diverse prongs to it, it seems) of an alleged murder case yet to formally begin.

I hardly need to justify my stance by exploring the deep complexities and sensitivities of the society we live in – and have lived in – at this point, and nor should my view thus be interpreted as some clear-cut partiality in any direction in the Roux business.

Let justice, and whatever that process reveals, run its rightful course.

But I can only imagine how SARU officials, of varied political and social dispositions, would have winced when they saw front-page lead headlines screaming out such words as “Boks rally behind Bees”.

Of course there were going to be ripples and a groundswell of concern and anxiety within the Bok camp: Roux is a friend and provincial team-mate of several players in the national fold.

But whatever thoughts De Villiers might have had, he ought to have expressed them internally to his charges - certainly not by public platform.

He is also showing signs, alas, of a return to an old smugness tendency he has had whenever the Boks are winning.

One schizophrenic, late-in-the-day home victory over moderate Australia after a glaringly lean period appears to have been all the buffer he needed to sound off in the manner some deep apartheid-era predecessor might have in his role.

I refer to his smart-ass suggestion this week that the players and management have “(formed) a laager to keep out negativity”.

Further, he said, in what sounded strongly like a pop at the media and more critical Bok followers in recent times: “I spoke about people being for us or against us, with nothing in between.”

Sorry, Div, but there are a few of us who fervently treasure our right to be very “in between” as analysts, neither embedded praise-singers nor dispensers of irrational doses of poison.

How some at SARU must be wishing, to an ever-swelling degree, that the national coach had more of the tact that is a hallmark of other respected coaches in the country like Heyneke Meyer or Allister Coetzee.

Yes, I have a strange gut feeling that “Div” is far from off the hook on latest matters. Is this going to be his Bees-gate?


  • Patricxk Hoppe - 2010-09-02 11:55

    Div is safe. He can say what he likes, SARU will protect him. Its the same old, same old. Close ranks around your "chommies" no matter what. If Div was white, he would have been gone long ago..

  • Leon - 2010-09-02 12:00

    All the good that was done with the two matches in Orlando stadium and the historic test at FNB stadium wasted because this idiot that is PDV cannot think before he speaks. Please give him a full time PR and spare us all embaressment.

  • Me again - 2010-09-02 12:01

    Whatever happened to TEAM SPIRIT? Should they only be a team on the field (making money for SARU) or should they stand together in everything? If they let BEES hang out alone, I'm throwing away my blue shirt, flag and hat.

  • Allan - 2010-09-02 12:03

    I would also like to agree that the Rugby Test Ticket Prices are too high. Why can't they be the same price as our Soccer tickets?

  • William Shakespeare - 2010-09-02 12:05

    Yes, off-field matters are none of his Bees Wax.

  • BG - 2010-09-02 12:08

    SNOR just doesn't want to learn. Unfortunately you cannot be an international coach of the World Champions, nogals, and not have any tact whatsoever. It's a requirement of a top fight coach which, in his defense, he never was in the first place.

  • News Maker Award - 2010-09-02 12:11

    If nothing else, PdeV is competing with Malema for the 2010 News Maker of the Year awards.

  • Cynful - 2010-09-02 12:11

    What an embarrasment to our country! Since he became the coach I no longer support the boks! Could we not have a coach with a bit of class! This guy opens his mouth and his foot falls out! We have nicknamed him Helium Pete! The world is laughing at this clown with every move he makes! Sure he supports his team 150%, but heavens put a guard in front of his mouth! At the rate he is going the Boks can write the RWC off! Does he see the same game that we watch. Certain players do NOT deserve the bok jersey, but yet he keeps on placing them on the field.

  • Me - 2010-09-02 12:13

    Come on SARU, get rid of him, lets get a good coach in place now so that we have a chance next year at RWC.

  • MikeM - 2010-09-02 12:16

    Div might be a great guy and he might even be a reasonable coach but he is, unfortunately, an embarrassment. To preserve the fragile dignity of the Springbok legacy, he should either be muzzled or released from his contract. SARU should also employ a real communications consultant to properly prepare coaches, players and management for dealing with the media who, it must be noted, are eager to make the most out of Div's foot-in-mouth tendencies.

  • poena - 2010-09-02 12:16

    My granny would have said:"Dis om van te kots"

  • Anti Bees - 2010-09-02 12:18

    Is PDiv on crack or what? Snorkels (PDiv),What if Bees killed a "Coloured" cop?

  • Just Relax - 2010-09-02 12:21

    @Greg. Do you by any chance have inside info on the case. There always are at least 2 sides to any case, and there might be a hell of a lot more to this case. So just shut up and let the law takes its cause - you may be in for a surprise.

  • donovan - 2010-09-02 12:22

    @greg: i thought that Bees Roux is innocent until proven guilty? You just condemn him out of hand,not knowing any of the facts. In that case I am a complete psychotic, brain dead wallflower, but you are a jackass!

  • Boertjie - 2010-09-02 12:25

    As an Afrikaner and a staunch Blue Bull supporter, I have had enough of the press and their relationship with De Villiers. Every report I read smells of a racial undertone. This ever insistent slaying of the man is creating a negative vibe amongst supporters. The press is hell bent to make this man's life a living hell. Not even if this man would bring back another World Cup to this country will he ever be good enough for the condescending reporters that have probably never even held a rugby ball in their own hands. What makes this even more despicable is that sports writers, I'm talking about men here, spend their days bitching like a bunch of queer hairdressers. No wonder the government wants to gag the press in this country.

  • herman - 2010-09-02 12:28

    P Divvy should be fired - he is a national disgrace and his team selections and understanding the basics of the modern game is way out of date. Please SARU, get rid of this clown!!!!

  • Someone with a brain!!! - 2010-09-02 12:29

    @ Greg>>> You are the biggest idiot of them all!! White people always want to turn things, any senario into a race debate!! About black/white!! You are pathetic!!! You guys won't be happy untill you get a "white" coach!!!!He is there as a coach, he shouldn't be engaging the media, yes!! But crit him on his performances as coach, thats what he is paid to do!!!!!!

  • herman - 2010-09-02 12:30

    Welcome Back to the "old" Rob Houwing!

  • terry - 2010-09-02 12:31

    Div - when I was a very young boy someone once gave me a piece of advice - "It is far wiser to remain silent and look stupid, then to talk and confirm it!". Appears that no-one ever told you .... or perhaps you didn't understand.

  • Sox - 2010-09-02 12:32

    DIV Charlie Chaplin lookalike can kiss our support goodbye besides whites dont want him, now i see the reason why the call him a clown.

  • Tonsil - 2010-09-02 12:38

    PdV wants to go, but he does not want to resign. He wants to be fired so that he can get a golden handshake

  • Grant Bouch - 2010-09-02 12:38

    Robert my are living in lala land if you think that DIv is anywhere near any kind of Bees-gate. Fact is that he has ridden off the back of Jake White's work with very little planning for the future....please dont tell me that Butch James is the way forward.....he persists with people like Jean de Villiers and Schalk Burger (yes I know he is indispensable yada yada yada) and he leaves people like Aplon and de Jongh benched. And what about Habana....give him some time off, for fwack sake....he is frankly a bit too big for the game right now.....speaking about himself in the third person and all.....Where are the Gerhard van der Heevers, the Lamby's....ok so he brought in Hougaard....but frankly he screwed the pooch with Ruan who should have been our number 2 scrummie for the past few years...and also mate....Dick Muir and Gary Gold are not the business....time for people like Pieter Rossouw and Os to take a big step up. But politically SA rugby, like most of this society, is so crippled by the baggage of the past that we can no longer see beyond the race issue.....lets admit it without fear.....Div is a kak coach, regardless of his background, colour, religion or sexual orientation....Oh God how I long for the day when ALL Saffers can drop the race thing and deal with each other as HUMANS first and foremost because it makes me sick that everything we do....every single thing - is dominated by colour and creed..... Ok enough from me...cheers.

  • ray - 2010-09-02 12:39

    Please all you unpatriotic people, Div has got a (secret) plan, I mean he is just as successful as Christie and White and anyone who says different is being racist...And of course he can say what he feels like too...yeah right

  • K*k Praat - 2010-09-02 12:39

    asseblief kan hulle nie iets beter praat dan oor hou Duifie net kak praat.

  • chris - 2010-09-02 12:40

    @ greg what a pitty full person you must be. Start juding without any facts. Surely nyou are a nerd and does not know what is going on around you. Stop judging and keep your stuppid opinion to yourself, nobody else whant to know how braindead you really are

  • Aabels - 2010-09-02 12:41

    Pieter DeVilliers is so far, as a certain sunday newspaper will say, the MAMPARA of the year. Either get someone like Alister Coetzee to teach him how to communicate or appoint the latter our new coach. He was the assistant coach of the Boks before. By the way, Alister was a teacher. Wasn't DeVilliers??? Or was he a mechanic!!!

  • RAB - 2010-09-02 12:42


  • Fred - 2010-09-02 12:43

    Bees is innocent until proved otherwise. There is nothing wrong with the coach and the team in supporting one of their own. It is not a colour issue but a principled one.

  • Spartan - 2010-09-02 12:43

    Time for this idiot to go, he just cant keep his mouth shut, even though he cant string 2 sentences togther. Its bad enough having to fight off the biased IRB & their favoratism for the All Brats, without this fool putting both feet in his mouth every time he opens it, which, unfortunately is far too often. Fire him & be done with this quota moron.

  • Fred - 2010-09-02 12:44

    Bees is innocent until proved otherwise. There is nothing wrong with the coach and the team in supporting one of their own. It is not a colour issue but a principled one.

  • ARNO - 2010-09-02 12:45

    May I suggest a new name for PdV... Kalium. He talks KAk and his voice sounds like heLIUM.

  • @ Greg et al - 2010-09-02 12:47

    You idiot! So you actually condone the possibility that the metro-cop was up to serious sculduggery and trying to hijack / rob a (probable) inebriated Bees, and that Bees should not have defended himself? If not (which I hope you have the good sense not to), then nothing gives you the rght to make the statements you did. Let the man stand trial and answer to the allegations made against him. If he is found guilty, then your judgments may carry some weight. As it stands now, your judgments smack of poor taste and ignorance.

  • Cynful - 2010-09-02 12:50

    Nevermind the News Maker Award.....they are competing for the Mamparra of the Decade Award. Watch it you bluddy agent!

  • Polly - 2010-09-02 12:52

    When Australia had the most successful cricket team for many years the coach was almost unknown as he focused on the playing skills of the team and what he was appointed to do. It is a pity that Mr DeVilliers has not looked at succesful coaches in other sporting codes and seen that although you have a duty to communicate with the media you must keep it to a minimum and be selective on what you comment about. It was very interesting to read John Mitchell's ( the new lions coach) cv and compare it to our own national coach. The worrying thing is that Mr De Villiers will end up as the Minister of Sport in a couple of years time.

  • Wendell - 2010-09-02 12:58

    Rob Houwing, this is getting pretty boring! You and your journalist buddies will do anything for sensation. Yes, that's what your pathetic article is, sensation. And the people posting these anti-Div comments are so stupid to fall for it. Peter Div did not support Bees. As I understand it, he spoke on behalf of his players in which they support Bees as person and not the act (whatever the court decides). My goodness guys, do you really think anybody would be so stupid to publicly support Bees even if it 'looks' as if he's guilty?

  • Jou-ma! - 2010-09-02 12:59

    If Div gets dropped, a few "old" boks will lose their places!!! They worry!!!!

  • Bye-bye Div! - 2010-09-02 13:00

    Div will be fired on Sunday. SARU couldn’t do it before but will use this as a solid excuse...thanks Div! It will turn into a political issue and I believe the government have already told SARU to fire him on Sunday. Thanks god for the clown’s big mouth! Coetzee and Meyer will take over and hopefully get rid of Spies, Smit and a couple of other passengers. Bye-bye Snor!

  • Laeveld Springbok - 2010-09-02 13:02

    Hey Greg! are you pulling a Snorre on yourself? allow me to quote from the article you just read: "Let justice, and whatever that process reveals, run its rightful course." before you make moronic statements like that. Who the hell are you to judge him? Well done Rob, good article

  • Windhoek - 2010-09-02 13:03

    Greg what do you know about Bees? How can you and anyone here branded the guy as guilty as no-one knows what happened on that day. If Div wants to talk about it why not.

  • gpwengineer - 2010-09-02 13:07

    I thought DIV was a rugby couch. I also thought Bees has not been proven guilty yet. The knives has been out for DIV the whole season already. Now that we won the aussies, his enemies is trying to find another way to get rid of him before the world cup. Leave DIV alone

  • Nick Armstrong - 2010-09-02 13:08

    So what if PdV expressed his opinion re Bees Roux. He was doing so on behalf of feelings within the Bok camp. Only half the story is getting out re what happened to Bees. The man was a victim of the typically corrupt, thievaing, raping metro cops in Gauteng - EXCEPT - this victim had the means to fight back! Aha - BUSTED - a man has been killed. If Bees - or any other member of public (especially if they were white) had been killed instead - this story wouldn't have even have made the news - and the corrupt cops/politicains would have covered the lie up as "resisting arrest" or something of the like... Yet - Bees fought back after he realised they had stolen his wallet... WHY wasn't there such a bohaai - when Cricket SA supported Makhaya Ntini when he was CONVICTED of rape??? He even kept his sponsored vehicle. Later the finding was over-turned - my point is - a charge of rape was brought against Ntini - he was found guilty - yet still enjoyed ENDORSED support. So - if PdV and the Boks want to show support for Bees - THEN WHY NOT??? Will the TRUE events of this case come out - I doubt it. Bees will be 'sacrificed' - to cover up the wide-spread incompetence, corruption, and down-right thuggery (read: rape; theft etc) rife in certain elements of the metro cops/ police in Gauteng. This is to be expected - the story of Africa - repeats itself cannot do any better anyway...

  • Go Bees - 2010-09-02 13:08

    Gatvol for corrupt officials, that think they own the place and is above the law, because they are the law. The corrupt cop picked on the wrong guy, and got n lesson. And for all the racist out there read this color blind.

  • Nick@Greg - 2010-09-02 13:10

    Hell Greg. The case has not even been finalised and you seem to have a judgement on it already!! You must be a prophet. On the surface it looks like someone (although under the influence) was standing up to getting shafted by the Metro Cops, and possibly the unfortunate metro cop bit off a bit more than he could chew?? Ever think about that?? - No I doubt it...

  • Fertcher Fan - 2010-09-02 13:13

    The only person that can save PdeV is Deon Stegmann. Put Stegmann in a pressure chamber (ala Rolls Royce), pray, select and wait for a positive outcome.

  • The Boss - 2010-09-02 13:16

    Poepal de Viliers, what a absolute toss!! He is and will always be a useless coach. Why does he surround himself with retards like Gary Gold and Dickless Muir?? In comparison PDV is the next Jake the snake white. Too much sucking on the papsak Div???

  • Pieta. - 2010-09-02 13:19

    Greg, Jy leef seker ook in vyandskap met jouself anders sal jy nie sulke arrogante, ondeurdagte en pleinweg "stupid" uitlatings maak nie. Ek is ook oortuig dat jy geen geselskap het nie. Ek dink ook jy beskryf jouself in jou kommentaar.

  • Bokfan4eva - 2010-09-02 13:22

    Lets just bring on Allistair.....hes the right colour and actually knows what hes doing.... Cheers div, thanks for the entertainment.

  • boytjie - 2010-09-02 13:23

    BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH it is the bandwagon again !!! how about some rugby for a change !!

  • BOK1000!!! - 2010-09-02 13:24

    PDiv What a man!! I love the guy!! Especially the way he gets the better of our negative low class journalist who can never write a positive story because they may not have the talent to do so!! Its easy to get attention with negativity, but come on moderate SA journalists I dare you to try and write something positive...if you have the potential.. We are probably the only team in the world going to NZ expecting to win. Come on give the team a break! But yeah I understand stories have to sell and if you don't have the potential to do so positively, take the easy route my friend (like only the SA media can). Go Bokke!!! Strongs Bees!! It will be sad to see a hero like Bees going to jail for being pushed over the edge..

  • Trevor - 2010-09-02 13:24

    If I were Divy I would rather concentrate on winning rugby games ! Let justice take its course and in the classics they say " 'n Stil Bek is 'n Heel Bek" so when will he learn ? My opinion is that it is not too late to have Allister Coetzee take the helm. If Allister was good enough to win a World Cup under Jake surely he deserved better treatment from SARFU ?