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Jacob Zuma enters Rugby Presidency battle

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ANC President Jacob Zuma has reportedly thrown his support behind South African Rugby Union boss Oregan Hoskins in his bitter battle for rugby’s hot seat with Mike Stofile.


According to the Sunday newspaper Sondag, Zuma met with Hoskins (pictured) this week and told him he wants him to be in charge “for at least four more years”.


Hoskins confirmed this and said the meeting was a “wonderful boost to my campaign.”


“We had a wonderful chat, and he gave his support to me and SA Rugby as long as we continue to transform the game,” said Hoskins.


“He also said that it’s not the ANC’s intention to interfere in rugby. He is a friend of SA Rugby and knows me from my days at the KwaZulu-Natal Rugby Union.


“He was also at the World Cup where I gave him a Springbok rugby jersey and he came to support the Springboks.”


Sondag alsoreported that controversial Presidents Council member Cheeky Watson made a threat against Kwazulu Natal President Peter Hazard at a recent meeting of the Council, where he allegedly told him to “vote right or I’ll organise that your farms get taken away.”


Hazard confirmed the threat and said “He did say it and I told him where to get off.”


Watson said it was a “tongue in cheek” comment that wasn’t meant to be taken seriously.


“Now the guys are scraping the barrel, it is ludicrous and I burst out laughing when I heard the allegation. I made a joke and it was taken the wrong way.”


According to the newspaper this is one of three threats that were made by Mike Stofile’s confidants as part of a campaign to put pressure on rugby presidents to vote the right way.


The newspaper also reports that Butana Khompela, the controversial chairman of Parliament’s Sport Portfolio committee told Free State rugby president Harold Verster that if voting does not go the right way on March 29 there would be a lot of trouble.


Verster apparently shared this with the rugby hierarchy but denied any such threat when approached.


The third incident came when a member of the Portfolio Committee phoned the Pumas and told them that if a black president was elected “your tax problems will disappear”.


The Pumas refused and elected Hein Mentz, ex Freedom Front MP and father to Springbok Henno and Bok Sevens player MJ Mentz.


Sapa – Rugbyweek.com  

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