Cosatu happy to see Heyneke go, calls Matfield a 'quota' player

Cape Town - Cosatu has welcomed Heyneke Meyer’s decision to quit his role as Springbok coach.

Meyer on Thursday stepped down from his position after four years at the helm of the national team.

Cosatu had been critical of Meyer during his tenure as Bok coach, with the trade union of the opinion that Meyer had not done enough to transform the Springbok team.

“Cosatu welcomes the resignation of Heyneke Meyer and welcomes the opportunity this brings to restore South African rugby,” Cosatu commented via a press statement.

Cosatu also wants to see the back of current South African Rugby Union (SARU) president Oregan Hoskins, believing that the rugby system in South Africa is “racist”.

“The problems in rugby are much deeper than the coach and it reflects on the entire leadership of the sport. We need to review Oregan Hoskins’ continued tenure as leader also, as he has let transformation down and he must take responsibility for the crisis in rugby. We won’t let the systemic crisis in rugby be left intact by the resignation of Heyneke, we want the entire racist, unfair system to change, not just some fall guy to be presented to the media.”

According to Cosatu, SARU is still not doing enough to transform rugby in South Africa.

“Cosatu claims this as a victory for transformation and a victory for the efforts of Cosatu on behalf of workers, who include rugby players. Cosatu will consider retracting its pressure on corporates to divest from rugby, if a new leadership and acceptable transformation plan is announced.

“We ask corporates to continue applying the pressure to SARU and to not make decisions for investment in SARU, until an acceptable transformation plan is agreed to with the role players.”

Cosatu also hit out at critics of the quota system in South African sport, instead claiming that 38-year-old Victor Matfield went to the Rugby World Cup as a ‘quota’ player.

“The time has come to choose a side in rugby, either you are for transformation, or you stand for perpetuating the apartheid generational advantage of white players in the sport. This nonsense that the racist perpetuate about quota players must also stop, as we have seen that the real quota players are people like Matfield and co. who clearly are no longer suited to the modern game.

“Cosatu will not stop its campaign against the leadership and funders of rugby, until the sport is on a clear and fair trajectory where everyone gets an equal chance. The focus of Cosatu includes both players and the administrators and referees of the game," Cosatu concluded.