In a somewhat surprisingly restrained tone, Andile Mngxitama has offered Springbok captain Siya Kolisi the opportunity to “have a beer” with him following the flanker’s controversial comments on transformation at the weekend.
Kolisi told a Japanese news outlet that he believed late President Nelson Mandela wouldn’t have supported quotas and also expressed his belief that true transformation should exhibit a bottom-up approach.
“You shouldn’t put a number on stuff like that. If you want to talk about transformation, you have got to start there (at a grassroots level). Imagine I hadn’t gone to an English school. I wouldn’t have eaten properly, I wouldn’t have grown properly and I wouldn’t have had the preparation that the other boys did,” he said.
The Black Land First Leader doesn’t agree with the Bok skipper, but seems more than willing to have a constructive conversation with him on the matter.
I would like to have a beer with brother Siya Kolisi (captain of the Springboks). He knows a lot about Rugby and I know a great deal of Black Consciousness. I think we can help each other here. The country needs it. We need blacks properly aligned upstairs.
— Andile Mngxitama (@AndileMngxitam1) January 7, 2019
Rather unsurprisingly though, many Twitter users weren’t as measured.
Black Old Greys to Siya Kolisi at the moment pic.twitter.com/Cba9JZ2str
— Social Delinquent (@Lwazi_Somya) January 7, 2019
Nangoke Siya Kolisi and his English school diet bullshit…
— Van Gogh (@Art_Scholar) January 7, 2019
How is Siya Kolisi different from black managers presiding over mainly white organizations? They act more or less the same: They become gatekeepers of white privilege and act as useful “condoms” to keep out black professionals. His politics is sanitized to gain acceptance. PITY.
— nameless (@siyazi) January 7, 2019
People like to act like you can either have talent or race, there are talented black rugby players being chocked by the system at grassroots level. And our first black captain just gave a major middle finger to those kids #SiyaKolisi
— JoJo (@Tickle_Me_Joey) January 7, 2019
One user even went as far as questioning Kolisi’s ability as a rugby player.
Someone needs to tell Siya Kolisi that he's not the best No.6 available to the Springboks, the only reason he's playing ahead of Jaco Kriel, Marcell Coetzee is because he's black…
— Rhudulu (@iVumza) January 7, 2019
But there was some support.
It's always the people on the outside who think they know best. Siya Kolisi gave his honest opinion and because his narrative doesn't fit that of the majority he got cancelled? Get a grip man!
— Phumudzo Tshiovhe (@Shepherd015) January 7, 2019
I don't even wanna lie to you I will keep backing #SiyaKolisi till I really know what's going on
— OleAtTheWheel (@kevykay10) January 7, 2019
Regardless of whether or not we agree with his opinions, we need to have respect for Siya Kolisi. He's a rugby player, not a politician. Which other Springbok captain has had to answer as many political questions as he has?
— Leonard Solms (@LeonSolms) January 7, 2019