South Africa questions "Beast" elligibility

Springbok prop Beast Mtawarira's eligibility to play for the South African rugby team has apparently been called into question by the Sports Ministry.\r\n

And, it is understood, if they have their way, Mtawarira will not board the plane to France next Tuesday with the players who’ll in all likelihood start for the Boks against France in Toulouse next Friday.

The rest of the Bok tour party left South Africa last Tuesday.

The Sports Ministry is apparently investigating how it came about that Mtawarira, who is a Zimbabwean citizen, is playing for the Boks.

The much-loved loosehead prop has been playing rugby in South Africa for four years and completed his three-year residency to qualify for the Boks in 2008.

It is understood his work permit is in order and that SA Rugby have followed the necessary protocols in registering him.

Other Zimbabwean players – Tonderai Chavhanga and Brian Mujati – have also played for the Boks, but are not in the current squad. Mujati is playing his rugby overseas, while Chavhanga has fallen out of favour with coach Peter de Villiers.

Deputy Sports Minister Gert Oosthuizen declined to comment last night on the investigation.