Matfield refuses to be intimidated

2014-07-04 00:00

“Now I am a member of the EFF.”

That was how Springbok and Bulls captain Victor Matfield yesterday morning jokingly ­referred to Julius Malema’s EFF party, when he attended the announcement of the Bulls team while sporting the red cap of his team’s main sponsor.

Matfield had a broad smile about what Cosatu had to say about his scrum cap.

The trade union reckon the camouflaged scrum cap, which Matfield wears when scrumming down for the Springboks, may upset blacks because the “cap is that of the unrest unit during apartheid times”.

The Bulls have played in this season’s Super Rugby competition with camouflaged jerseys and Matfield has until now worn a similar blue cap when playing for the Bulls.

Cosatu, however, say it accentuates the arrogance of the “club of white players” in the Springbok team.

“With the cap of the former South African unrest unit Matfield openly shows this [arrogance],” said a media statement issued by the trade union.

Cosatu recommend that Matfield should rather wear a cap with the country’s “new ­national symbols”.

Although Matfield laughed about this and did not regard it too seriously, he said Cosatu’s comment was unfair but he will not “get involved in something at this level”.

“I have always been a proud South African. I am an Afrikaner too, but first of all a South African. The Springboks are doing unbelievably much to unite the people of this country.”

Matfield said the Bulls, after winning the ­Super Rugby title in Soweto in 2010, realised how much rugby can accomplish.

Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven yesterday acknowledged that they had been inundated with calls since the union’s comment about Matfield.

He referred enquiries by The Witness’s sister newspaper Beeld to Cosatu Western Cape secretary Tony Ehrenreich but Ehrenreich did not respond to calls.

The FF+ meanwhile said as the trade union became increasingly irrelevant and obsolete in a modern world with modern challenges, ­Ehrenreich and Cosatu were making noises like toothless puppies.

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