Siya Kolisi catches heat on Twitter for transformation comments

08 January 2019 - 07:54
By Odwa Mjo

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi received backlash on Twitter for saying that Nelson Mandela would have not supported quotas.

Kolisi made the comments during an interview with Kyodo News in Japan after being asked what he thinks former president Mandela would have said about transformation quotas in rugby.

"I don't think he would have supported that. I think you shouldn't put a number on stuff like that," he said.

Kolisi said transformation should start at a grassroots level in township schools. "Imagine if I did not go to an English school. I wouldn't have been eating properly, I wouldn't have grown properly, and I wouldn't have had the preparation that the other boys did," he said.

Kolisi said transformation should also take place at local levels such as the Currie Cup. "In South Africa it's tough. We want results and we want transformation," he said. 

"I wouldn't want to be picked because of my skin colour because that surely wouldn't be good for the team," he added.

Clearly, transformation remains one of the crucial debates in rugby. Despite being praised for pushing the transformation agenda since his appointment, Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus failed to reach his 45% target last year.

Social media users soon weighed in on the subject, with many criticising Kolisi for his comments on transformation, as well as his views on English schools making him a better player. Others felt the Springbok captain was simply misunderstood.