Edenvale Panthers hits back at ban

August 20, 2011
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THE singing of President Jacob Zuma’s trademark song, Umshini wami, and ANC Youth League president Julius Malema’s infamous Dubul’ iBhunu incited the violence between Edenvale Panthers Rugby Club (EPRC) and the Soweto Rugby Club (SRC).

IOLSport – Lebogang Seale

And the decision to suspend the Panthers was due to a trial by the media, instigated by the Soweto club, according to a report by the EPRC and submitted to the Golden Lions Rugby Union.

About six members of the SRC – including the coach and driver – were admitted to hospital after being seriously injured in the brawl two weeks ago.

The fighting broke out late in the second half of the match when the Soweto club was leading 27-7. This sparked accusations by Sowetans that the attack was motivated by “sheer jealousy and racism” as they were poised to win the league.

Racial slurs were also exchanged during the ill-tempered match.

Following the incident, which drew wide condemnation, including from Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, the Golden Lions Rugby Union slapped down the Panthers with a suspension last week.

The suspension has not gone down well with the Panthers, who filed papers appealing against the ban on Wednesday.

Club chairman Victor de Klerk vowed to fight the suspension.

“All I can do is to fight for my players, who just want to play rugby. They must rather suspend me and let the players play the game,” he said.

In the Panthers’ report to the Golden Lions, De Klerk accuses the Soweto club’s players of provoking his team by singing inflammatory and racial songs.

“During our under-19 game, the SRC second team arrived. These players chose, in order to create a festive atmosphere, to sing political songs. The rugby anthem, Shosholoza, would have been appropriate.”

De Klerk lashed out at the Golden Lions for what he said was a “biased ban” of his team. “It was one-sided. The fair deal would have been to suspend both clubs,” he said.

“We were used as scapegoats in these racial allegations,” he added.

SRC secretary-general Zola Ntlokomu declined to comment.

Attempts to get comment from the Golden Lions Rugby Union were not successful and calls to manager Peter Visser’s cellphone went unanswered.

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5 Comments

  1. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    August 20th, 2011 at 9:15 am

    222 sides to every story in RSA when race is involved…

    Kudos to RuggaWorld for publishing this… seems it’s buried everywhere else…

  2. avatar Morné says:
    August 20th, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 9:15 am:

    I have engaged a Sowetan Rugby Club player on Twitter who was prominent in getting his point across and tell their side of the story a couple of weeks ago on Twitter.

    I asked him a simple question, did the SRC sing the ‘Kill the boer’ song prior to the free-for-all?’

    He sidestepped the question to the best of his ability – still no answer.

    Disappointing.

  3. avatar Boertjie says:
    August 20th, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Reply to Morné @ 10:40 am:

    Jip, the minute you put some irresputable
    evidence before them, they sidestep, then
    freeze.

    And finding publications willing to put the
    facts straight is hard to come by – they all
    fear a backlash from their advertisers.

    Boots and All is a good example.

    SuperSport fired a very well-known and excellent
    rugby scribe because his writings touched on a
    few raw racial toes.
    Actually, I think he actually resigned after
    having some of his columns rejected.
    I see he now writes a column in the Sunday Times.

  4. avatar DavidS says:
    August 20th, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    And click goes the truth

    One should have known when some Inquisition called the Transformation and Race Committee was appointed to investigate this that the outcome was a foregone conclusion.

    AND max Baer’s loyalties through his Boela Van Der Merwe connection with GLRU guaranteed that only the bending with the wind political dimension and not the truth would be seen…

    Not that I want to talk this as an excuse but SRC should get thei asses kicked too.

    Well done Advocate Max Baer…

    Good investigations skills dispalyed in your so’called report which ended up beinga one sided outburst of typical white liberal politically correct expediency in the name of assuaging trumped moral outrage on a ana altar where truth was sacrificed.

  5. avatar Treehugger-shark says:
    August 20th, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Both clubs should have been sanctioned, It takes 2 to tango.

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