South African Rugby
De Villiers should have a spokesperson - Stofile
September 8, 2010
Peter De Villiers remains under major pressure © Getty Images
South Africa's Sport and Recreation minister, Reverend Makhenkesi Stofile, has added his voice to the criticism of Peter De Villiers, calling for the Springbok coach to employ a spokesperson.
Stofile has reacted furiously to De Villiers' latest media outburst, in which he offered the squad's support to Bulls prop Bees Roux, who stands accused of murdering a Police officer in Pretoria.
De Villiers faces a South African Rugby Union (SARU) disciplinary panel at the end of September where his side's dismal Tri-Nations campaign and his relationship with the media will be under close scrutiny. Former Springbok coach Jake White this week added to the pressure by publicly declaring his availability for the job.
"He should get a spokesperson," Stofile told Die Burger. "Even I don't always understand what he says. It's disgraceful to say that you support someone 100% when he possibly took another person's life in such a brutal manner. If this was the old South Africa, he would have been charged as an accomplice for that kind of statement."
Stofile believes that SARU must act as the body's reputation is being tarnished by De Villiers' frequent run-ins with the press. "The entire organisation's name is being dragged through the mud," he said. "It's unacceptable."
The minister also revealed that he had previously advised De Villiers to employ a spokesperson. During his tenure De Villiers has faced censure for a number of incidents, most recently escaping punishment for alleging a refereeing conspiracy during this season's Tri-Nations.
"I repeat that request today," he said. "With the kind of questions the media asks, I said that he would be sorry about something he said one day. You need special skills when talking to the media. And Peter is a man who loves to talk.
"Today we are embarrassed and angry about what he said. You can't be delighted when someone is killed. Peter, please don't expose yourself to the media like that. I agree totally that he should speak Afrikaans if he's not comfortable in English. English is also not my first language and I also struggle with it at times. We think in our mother tongue and then have to verbalise the thought in English. And Peter talks very quickly."