Thursday, 12 November 2009
To: News Editors & Sport Editors
For Immediate Release
Subject: Mr. Tendai “The Beast” Mtawarira
The problems encountered by Mr Mtawarira with his Zimbabwe passport, have exposed a dangerous situation. A situation where sport administrators clearly do not know South African Laws or simply do not respect our Laws.
We must state up front our admiration for the gifted Zimbabwean prop forward. He is a live wire on the Rugby field. But just like he must obey the rules of Rugby on the field, he must comply with the Laws of South Africa in life here on our land, like all of us.
According to the President as well as the CEO of the SARU, “The Beast” IS NOT A CITIZEN of South Africa. He does not even have a permit for permanent residence in South Africa. The CEO of The Sharks corroborates these facts and makes the interesting remarks: “There has never been any issue about his nationality.”
The issue here is NOT HIS Nationality. It is his citizenship. He has never applied for a South African citizenship or passport. Of course he would not get a passport if he was not our citizen. This is the law that all citizens in all countries respect. What is wrong with some of our Compatriots? No sport can be bigger than South Africa!
The officials of the SARU even inform us that Mr. Mtawarira “is currently on an exceptional skills visa (work permit).” If such a work permit was issued on the basis of his skills as a prop forward, the concept “scarce skills” was vulgarised. The Sharks or any Provincial Unit or Professional Club may motivate for the issuing of a work permit for a limited number of foreign players or administrators. Such application must be accompanied by a COMPELLING motivation.
Most important still, sports leaders should be the first to understand why NATIONAL TEAMS cannot play foreigners, no matter how outstanding they may be. Morné Steyn cannot represent New Zealand, Dan Carter cannot represent Wales, Wayne Rooney cannot play for Bafana Bafana. The list goes on.
Federations, Provinces and Clubs are more than welcome to approach us for advice on these issues. To simply rely on slipping through the legal framework (as the CEO of the Sharks seems to be doing) is very dangerous and negligent. Let us take our country more seriously. Only citizens of a country may represent that country.
Issued by Ministry: Sport & Recreation S.A