If ever you wanted a grotesque living example of the follies of Black Empowerment in South Africa, look no further than Boks head coach Peter de Villiers. Like everything else that SA has been good at, rugby has been an almost 100% white enterprise. Under Jake White they became, and remain, World Champions. With it came the usual glamour, money, fame and fortune.
This attracted the attention of SA’s black majority. They wanted part of it. A big part of it. First they forced the appointment of a black President, the bizarrely named Oregan Hoskins (don't ask!) and then forced the non-renewal of Jake White’s contract. Both his name and race disqualified him, despite his sterling record.
This was a scandalous move, but the selection of his replacement was even worse. The obvious man was Heyneke Meyer, but he was forced to withdraw his application and the job went to de Villiers. This guy had a modicum of success at under-age level, but nothing in senior competition. But hey – why worry! He was the right colour, and that's what’s important in SA right now.
De Viliers then proceeded to promote black players almost irrespective of their ability, and deflected all criticism of him, or of underperforming black players like Ricky Januarie as ‘racism’. But of course, what else could it be? And since taking over, his reign has been a comedy of errors, which has even embarrassed those who foisted him on the Union.
But to get a real sense of his, er, quality, you need to hear him, or better again, get a transcript, of him being interviewed. He’s such an ignorant stupid buffoon that it almost defies belief. He’s incoherent, self-contradictory, ridiculous. Even legendary anti-apartheid SA international Cheeky Watson has reportedly referred to him as a ‘baboon’. I think your average baboon is more intelligent.
But even this clown may have over-stepped the mark with his pathetic defense of Schalk Burger’s shocking eye-gouging of Luke FitzGerald in the second Test. The near blinding of Fitzgerald itself wasn’t surprising, Southern Hemisphere teams routinely set out to maim key members of the opposition from the North (e.g. the spear tackle on Brian O’Driscoll in New Zealand) as well as intimidate the referees. But de Villiers’ attempt to justify it was so comically inept that even the craven SARU might be forced to dump the clown.
And incidentally, his support for Burger may not be unconnected with his (Burger’s) selling his soul to support de Villiers. In an interview with the Irish Times he admitted he did have ‘some reservations’ initially but now recognizes what a great coach he is. Shameful Schalk. Almost as shameful as your attempt to blind an opponent.
The only good thing is that the blacks will fuck the Boks like they fuck everything else. Right now, that gives me consolation after a nasty unfair defeat.