Why should Mujati get a passport?

November 9, 2012 in International, Rugby, Rugby Championship, Springboks

Guys, wanna catch a Mujati Beer?

I haven’t blogged for a while. Been quite busy (yes, I actually DO have a job!) and nothing really inspired me to write something…until now.

I will say from the onset that I have always been pro-Mujati coming back to SA for the Springboks. He is a great talent and it was a wry pity that he left and the circumstances under which he left was just as pitiful.

I noted with interest that Heyneke Meyer is trying to procure the services of one Brian Mujati.  The Zimbabwean citizen, who plays for Northampton in England.  I think Mujati is a very good player and his name has been called quite a few times since he’s left the shores of South Africa to ply his trade overseas, after the hostile treatment he got from South African citizens with the controversy surrounding his father stealing a white farmer’s land in Zimbabwe under the Mugabe regime.

Personally, I was one of those who had hoped for his return to Springbok rugby.  Then the debacle broke loose surround Beast’s eligibility to play for the Springboks, after both him and Mujai played for the Springboks not being eligible under SASCOC rules, ie that any person representing South Africa wearing the South African National sports colours, must be a South African citizen/passport holder.

Beats, who’s been playing his Rugby for the Sharks for several years at the time, and who planned to stay in SA and become an SA citizen, was granted an SA passport and has since been eligible to play for the Springboks,

Fantastic!

Now all Peter de Villiers and co had to do, was to get Mujati back to SA so he can get his passport. But, Mujati was enjoying his time in England too much, started brewing his own beer even, and lived the lavide loca with the Sterling he was earning. (see, that rhymes!)

Henceforth he became lost to SA Rugby, and now he’s just some tighthead that we used to know…

Cue today, and SARU is trying everything in their power to get Mujati an SA Passport so he can play for the Boks.  I was intrigued when I heard about this, because, I am still under the impression that Mujati would not want to come back to SA because of the controversy surrounding his father, and having read his blog, I nowhere got the impression that he wanted to come back. In fact, it seemed that he is rather settled in England and would probably end up living there for the rest of his career, or life.

So, I didn’t think its plausible for him to play for South Africa because 1) he doesn’t have a passport; 2) he hasn’t played here for the last 4 years and 3) he probably doesn’t want to.

Number 3) was settled when Meyer approached Mujati and he indicated he wanted to play. But then SASCOC put a block on the appointment because of nr 1.

Then there is also the little issue of nr 2, because the IRB Regulations state a player may only play for the National team if “he has completed thirty six consecutive months of Residence immediately preceding the time of playing.”. Which Mujati hasn’t.

So even if by some corrupt and underhanded means the Ministers give Mujati a passport, he still may not play for the Boks under the IRB regulations.

So, Heyneke and Co should really just stick to the plans for this tour and not focus on getting a non-citizen a passport.

If it wasn’t for the IRB regulation, I still would have had an issue with SARU trying to get Mujati a passport. He is not a South African citizen and has been playing all his rugby overseas since 2009, other than Beast who played all his Rugby for the Sharks in South Africa.

Why do we want to give someone a Springbok jersey who is a) not a citizen and b) playing overseas?

Why don’t we then just go to New Zealand and get some of those extremely talented players who aren’t good enough for the All Blacks to play for us? It’s the same principle. They are not SA citizens and also playing all their Rugby overseas.

I can think of a few big strong runners from the Samoan and Fijian Islands who could also play in our backline. And I am sure we can find a better tighthead somewhere around the world if we try hard enough.

See, because Mujati once, mistakenly played for South Africa it doesn’t mean he should again. I have no problem with him playing for the Springboks, but he must EARN it first. Come back, play his rugby here for 36 months and show you want to be a South Afican. Right now, he wants to be a beer brewing Englishman, not a South African, and there is no reason to give him a passport.

Rather take a tighthead from South Africa. But who? Oh, I know. WP Nel. You know that guy we didn’t want and went to Scotland now? So we rather want a Zimbabwean citizen playing in England than a South African citizen paying in Ireland?

If being a very good player was the only criteria for playing for the Springboks, I am sure Paul True could do with some Fijians in his sevens side…

15 responses to Why should Mujati get a passport?

  1. If PdV or HM saw what they had in WP, my team would not have been looking for a decent replacement now.

    Agree, but I think we all know why Mujati is being saught after, and it is not because of his talent.

  2. I can still accept a non-SA citizen playing for SA if, like was the case with Beast, he lives and plays his rugby in the country, but someone like Mujati? No.

  3. I agree, let Mujati do his thing in the UK and let’s focus on what we have.

    I just don’t know why everyone seems to underrate Pat Cilliers. He may not have the brute strength but he has stood up to and even outscrummed the best that the Kiwis, the Aussies and us Saffers put against him (except JC of course :) ). The only thing I found is that it takes him maybe one or two scrums to “read” his opponent and get his number

  4. So it seems that apparantly because Mujati is already capped for the Springboks, he still qualifies for the Springboks under the IRB Regulations, despite not being a citizen and despite not having played in SA for 36 months immediately preceding this current call up. Doesn’t seem right to me though….

    • Isn’t the whole issue in SA a legal one? By law only SA citizens can represent SA? Nothing to do with the IRB or even SACOC.

      • Hi @Baylion. Sascoc is the ruling body for national sports and they determine who gets colours. You can read about it in this post I did a few years ago.
        http://blogs.sport24.co.za/uysh/2009/11/12/more-on-beast-et-al/

        • Sorry, but I think you are wrong. SACOC may determine who gets colours but they cannot go outside the law and it is a legal issue as to who may represent SA. I see that SARU made representation to the minister to get a special dispensation for Mujati as only the minister can give that.

          • Nope, Its the Regulations that determines it as referred to in that post. The law says (National Sports and Recreation Act, section 13) that 1) The Sports Confederation (That is SASCOC) must, with the concurrence of the Minister, establish a national colours board which will consider all applications for the awarding of national colours.
            2) The national colours must be awarded in accordance with the applicable regulations (those regulations are the ones referred to in the attached link in my previous comment).

            So, Sascoc awards the colours ito their regulations, which can be influenced by the Minister.
            Section 14 then talks to the Regulations, which says:
            “The Minister may, after consultation with the Sports Confederation in so far as high performance sport is concerned, make regulations–”

            So, in the end it is between Sascoc and the minister to make the Regulations, referred to above, which determines who can get National Colours.

          • Sh!t, it;,s getting too complicated for a Friday afternoon. Anyway, Mujati don’t really “qualify” anymore as he’s not even a SA resident let alone citizen or passport holder

  5. Why go to such trouble when WP is there to be picked,he was the next best tighthead after Jannie maybe even bettter in the last few years

    • Yup! I just in principle have a problem with a non citizen who is not plying his trade in SA playing for the Springboks. Rather pick a citizen who is playing overseas then!

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