Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira is out of the Springbok team because he is not a South African national – even though he has already played 15 Tests in the green and gold.
The SA Rugby Union (Saru) had recently asked sport minister Makhenkesi Stofile to help expedite the Zimbabwe-born prop’s South African citizenship, but in a statement on Wednesday night Stofile’s ministry accused the union of poor administration.
“This request to have the Minister use his position to have the process of securing permanent residence and subsequently, citizenship expedited ahead of the year end tour in Europe, has exposed our sport administrators’ clear disrespect or lack of understanding of our laws,” the ministry said.
“Talented as he is, Tendai, like all foreign nationals plying their trade in South Africa, is bound by the laws of this country. The migration laws of our country are clear on issues relating to permanent residence and citizenship. We expect our sport administrators to understand and respect legislation that regulate their business. None of the athletes, sport codes, or federations can be bigger than the country.”
Mtawarira, who is in France with the Bok team, was one of the stars of the side that beat the touring British Lions earlier this year.
“While Tendai is a live wire on the field of play, the question is whether it is, in the first place, justifiable to say he has scarce skills – the rationale that would have enabled him to obtain the current work permit. If we go the route our rugby administrators are requesting us to take, and facilitate the fast-tracking of Tendai’s citizenship, what would this say to all rugby players in our country? We cannot as a
government department responsible for sport and recreation in this country, afford to insult our players like this.
“The principle here is clear: Only citizens of our country can play for our National team, irrespective of the sport code. Therefore, no foreign national can play for any of our national teams, no matter how
outstanding they may be. If any player in any code is to become a South African citizen, this has to be done within the legal framework of our country.
“Federations, provinces and clubs, are more than welcome to approach us for advice on similar issues, instead of trying to slip a player through the legal framework.”
Leg-pull. Skinstad was also a Zimbo. Corne was a Zambian. Percy was a Namibian. Half the residents of Joburg are “other African”, and mostly illegal Zimbos.
I thought he was a Venda. What a loss though, even though I’m tempted to call the minister uncreative for that rant, I’m grateful for not allowing the importation of skills when we have so many talented South Africans.
Rules are rules, even though the border is non existent. Too bad.
Gary Tiechman was Zim, Ian Mac was Zim, Adrian Garvey was Zim, Mujati was Zim, Andy Marinos was Zim, why all the fuss now? Sa should just take over Zim. The last referendum was way back int he 20′s/30′s do it again. Imagine the wealth of a properly managed Zimbabwe. SA as it would be would be competing with China and India
Andy Marinos played for wales tho, but he is a big wig in SARU now
I think it is right. Other codes do not subscribe, why is Rugby different. How many talented Soccer players could have played for Bafana Bafana if the soccer code also used this rule.
Please just do us all a favor, when you writing an opinion piece, word in that way.
Don’t state facts that are simply rubbish.
“Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira is out of the Springbok”
Is it not amazing how sanctimonious the ANC can be about the strict application of the laws when it suits then while they stand aside and allow the laws to be raped in every other way imaginable.
Then cancel the results of all the 15 matches he has already played…..60% of so called south africans have one parent who came as an illegal immigrant….I challene Stofile to do the research
i think it would be perfectly OK to fast-track his citizenship. why not ? who would object ?
just do it man.
at our goverment has done an hournarable thing. good work minister
This is BS!
We must be the only country in the world cup to implement such a ridiculous rule.
He’s a brilliant rugby player. Let him play.
Australia will gladly accept him. He can be another “Great” Gregan for them and that would be a huge loss to SA rugby.
i knew it would happen this way
All of a sudden it’s a problem!!!
It is internationally common practice to give citizen ship to sports-men and -women so they can practice their sport in the national teams.
France, Australia, Newzealand would welcome a Rugby player like the Beast with open arms – but in SA it suddenly is a problem because he is from Zim!!?? There must be more to the sory than just that.
This utter nonsense! People are a being discriminated against based on the colour of their skin. I’m embarrassed of this department of Sports. Black on Black Racism. Gary Teichmann, born and raised in Zim, captained SA Springbok side. Bobby Skinstad is another Zimbo boy who has also plied his trade for SA. Corne Petrus Johannes Krige is also another case that can to be cited. He is born and raised in Lusaka, Zambia.
Coz Mtawarira is a black foreigner is that it?
Its sad what we are doing in this country….
How is it that no other rugby news site is reporting this? Are your facts correct?
Thanks minister I always wondered how was this guy palying for SA rugby, u’ve my day somebody had to tell these guys where to ge off. They wanted u to look like Cheune.
This whole fiasco is thanks to “transformation” because there HAS to be a certain no of black players in the team and there’s a huge shortage of world class black players, therefore to find a black player of the calibre of the beast who is not a wing is tough if not impossible at the moment, if you don’t use beast and replace him with a white prop then then you are going to have to take out another crucial player to replace him with a AA candidate thus weakening the team.
Politics and sport work so well together.
saru extremely incompetent.what were they hinking all along?this actions only come from brainless people
only SA citizens can play for national teams.laws of the country must adhered to,by the foreigners who want to be citizens.This sports bosses are all incompetent they dont know SA laws
Zimbabweans are South Africans !
Mugabe would have been out if not for the active support of the South African government for him. So if they support this maniac then they have to be considered as having dominion over Zimbabwe.
U people making these comments are the idiots. The Sports ministry is correct. Policies must be adhered to. Imagine if they do this for Beast, it woul open a can of worms for others requiring sitezenship but can’t get i as they need to follow the legal route
Why has he become a zimbo now. All along why was it not mentioned. Tendai if possible go and ply your trade somewhere you are a proffessional player dont involve yourself in silly political games they will ruin your carrier
Could we train locally-born grizzly bears and use them a props?
I can only conclude that the whole bungling Sports Ministry should be booted into touch! This problem should have been resolved when it became known that Tendai would play for the Boks ….. question begs ..how on earth has he managed to have so many green and gold caps, but now is being denied one??
U ppl are unbelievable, how can u compare guys like Gary Teichmann with The Beast, They were born in Zim but applied 4 SA citizenship, followed the laws of this country. The beast must also do the same, the ministry is right, finish n’ klaar. If u don’t like it u can go to the nearest cemetery and die.