Sports Minister calls on de Villiers to use spokesperson

South Africa coach Peter de Villiers should employ a spokesperson to help him deal with the media, according to the country's Sport and Recreation Minister.

South Africa coach Peter de Villiers should employ a spokesperson to help him deal with the media, according to the country's Sport and Recreation Minister.

Reverend Makhenkesi Stofile has branded recent comments by de Villiers regarding Bulls rugby player Bees Roux as "disgraceful".

Roux was recently arrested and charged with the alleged killing of 38-year-old Pretoria policeman Ntshimane Mogale with De Villiers then offering his support for the forward without mention of the deceased's family.

Speaking at the time, he said: "We definitely talked about Bees Roux. We feel for all South Africans and especially rugby players.

"A situation like this could happen to anybody. People are ugly outside, they're dirty and they try and use everything to stop us from bringing hope to the people out there.

"It's a tragic situation and we wish it upon nobody. The team supports him 100%. Not on the deed, but ... how the situation developed."

But Stofile has been left fuming by the incident and told Die Burger: "He should get a spokesperson. Even I don't always understand what he says.

"It's disgraceful to say that you support someone 100% when he possibly took another person's life in such a brutal manner.

"If this was the old South Africa, he would have been charged as an accomplice for that kind of statement."

The South African Rugby Union (SARU) are expected to grill De Villiers when they meet later this month to review his on-field performances, which have been poor in 2010 with the world champions having lost five out of their 10 Tests.

Stofile believes the rugby body's reputation has been tarnished, saying: "The entire organisation's name is being dragged through the mud. It's unacceptable."

Stofile also revealed that he had previously advised the national coach, who has been in hot water over for several comments made during his two-and-a-half year tenure, to employ a spokesperson.

He added: "I repeat that request today. With the kind of questions the media asks, I said that he would be sorry about something he said one day.

"You need special skills when talking to the media. And Peter is a man who loves to talk.

"Today we are embarrassed and angry about what he said. You can't be delighted when someone is killed. Peter, please don't expose yourself to the media like that.

"I agree totally that he should speak Afrikaans if he's not comfortable in English.

"English is also not my first language and I also struggle with it at times. We think in our mother tongue and then have to verbalise the thought in English. And Peter talks very quickly."

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