Why should Mujati get a passport?
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,
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…