Poepol of the Week Award goes once again to Pieter De Villiers


‘I was the Mandela of rugby’

Thu, 07 Jun 2012 11:05

I managed to unite more people in this country


Former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but he is in his own words, ‘true to himself’.

Without doubt De Villiers has been the most entertaining of all the mentors to take charge of South Africa’s national team.

For four years he entertained the world’s media with his unique sayings and weird parables and true to form he produced a few brand new pearlers at the Cape Town launch of his book: ‘POLITICALLY INCORRECT, the autobiography’.

Describing himself as “the Mandela of rugby”, De Villiers set out to explain to the audience that he was indeed a unifying force in the country and not the divisive figure so many of his critics felt he was.

Using terms like ‘I am my own man’ and ‘I stay true to myself’, he was at his brilliant best and certainly not holding back.

As he said in his book: “Quisque sibi verus [from Hamlet by William Shakespeare -.to thine own self be true].”

As forthright as he is in the publication, described as the ‘most honest rugby book ever’, De Villiers took pot shots at the media and had some words of ‘wisdom’ for his successor, Heyneke Meyer.

He said that initially he did not want to write a book.

“But after that statement that my appointment ‘did not take into account rugby reasons only’ [uttered by South African Rugby Union President Oregan Hoskins], I [later] decided I owe it to the people of the world, especially the black people … I owe it to them, to tell the story,” De Villiers said.

In the book he makes it very clear that he took exception to being labelled a ‘transformation’ coach by his employers, SARU,  and he had some equally strong words for the members of the media with whom he had a love-hate relationship throughout his tenure.

Turning to his co-author, Gavin Rich, he said: “The book tells what a great school [Northlands Boys High] you went to, and what a great college [Rhodes University] you went to, but it never tell me where you played your rugby.

“That was the problem with most of the rugby writers in this country, [they] never played good rugby … most of them never even played for their school’s first team. They wanted to have high achievements and they felt heartbroken to see this little guy held in such high [esteem]… that is the kind of jealousy and envy I experienced.”

De Villiers said the true measure of a man’s character is how you react to what people say about him.

And then he produced one of his best parables yet, likening himself to the former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, in describing how he felt he managed to unite all the people behind the Springboks.

“I managed to unite more people in this country,” De Villiers told his audience, adding: “I don’t want to bring Mandela in here, but I think I was the Mandela of rugby … [I] brought hope to people, to motivate [them] and [encourage them] to learn.”

Despite being unable to find employment in rugby in his own country, De Villiers said he will not be heading abroad for employment.

He said he wants “share” his knowledge with South African coaches.

He recently offered his services to SARU, who ignored him, and although the minister of sport suggested he would set up some kind of position where De Villiers can be involved at grassroots level, nothing has come of his so far either.

De Villiers made reference to Stormers defence coach, Jacques Nienaber, whom he described as one of the “most astute rugby brains in the country” and added that he “can’t understand why you [Nienaber] is not in the Springbok set-up”.

He said it would be a great loss to South Africa should Nienaber be snapped up by a team from abroad, as was the case when two other former Bok coaches, Nick Mallett and Jake White, accepted offers from other countries when they were unwanted at home.

Asked if he had a message for his successor, Heyneke Meyer, he had a dig at his former bosses at SARU: “Whatever he does wrong, you can’t blame him, blame the people who put him there … they are the people responsible. We must support him.”

His advice to Meyer: “Some of us get old and never grow up. By growing up, I don’t mean becoming an adult, growing up means knowing who you are. You should be true to yourself. Heyneke must be true to himself. I hope he knows what he wants and I hope he knows how he can get there.”

Then, being true to himself and being as politically incorrect as his book’s title suggest, De Villiers showed again why he is such a unique character.

“I don’t expect white people to understand black people and I don’t expect black people to understand white people, I do expect you to understand yourself. When you understand yourself, you know where you stand in life…”

By Jan de Koning


16 thoughts on “Poepol of the Week Award goes once again to Pieter De Villiers

  1. Ja, wie kan nou iemand soos Snorre hy ernstig opneem of respek vir hom hê wat homself al met Jesus vergelyk/gelykgestel het? Godslastering.


  2. Hoe kan daar godslastering plaasvind as julle nie vir ons eers julle god kan wys nie? Hy/sy/dit bestaan net in julle verbeeldings en dan verwag julle godbots dat ons respek moet hè vir hom/haar/dit. Ou snorre is ‘n joker en hy joke net met julle god maar julle is te dig om dit te sien. Verrotting van die brein.


  3. Ag Savage, man, give it a rest, asseblief. Gaan kyk eerder Casper de Vries se vulgere, Godslasterlike strooi – sy shows is mos daar naby jou iewers. Kyk bietjie na http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/blasphemy – jy sal sien die definisie van Godslastering hang nie af van of jy in God glo of nie. En snorre is te dig om ‘n grappie te kan maak – sy probleem is hy lei aan erge grootheidswaansin. Lyk my amper asof jy julle “poepol van die week” verdedig?!? Miskien is dit eerder sy brein wat so bietjie “verrot” is.


    • Volgens HAT beteken godslastering: “Belasterlik van God; ontering van God.”

      My vraag is dit: As iets se bestaan nie bewys kan word nie, hoe kan jy dit dan belaster? Julle godbots het ‘n hersenskim wat julle najaag en aanbid en dan verwag julle rassionele denkers moet respek vir julle illusies hê. Nie maklik nie!


  4. Analfa skryf: “En snorre is te dig om ‘n grappie te kan maak – sy probleem is hy lei aan erge grootheidswaansin.”

    Vir eens stem ek saam met Analfa. Die man ly aan ‘n ernstige graad van groodheidswaan. Soos ook Angus Buchan, Greta Wiid, Ray Mcaully, Dr Jan Grey, Liewe jesus (as hy ooit bestaan het), en vele ander godiote. Hoe kan dit dan anders? – mens hoef net die bybel te lees om te sien dat die gotte van die christendogma die kampioene van grootheidswaan is. Dat godiote hierdie gotte as rolmodelle sien, verklaar hoekom so baie van hulle grootheidswaansinnig is.


    • Great, ons stem saam 🙂 As sal nog een stap verder gaan – ek is oortuig Ray McCaully is ‘n fake – mens kan dit duidelik sien uit sy openbare lewe. En Maretha Theunnisen is nog ‘n groter freeken fake. Die getuienis dat Jesus bestaan het dink ek is oorweldigend (as jy hom dan net as ‘n historiese figuur wil sien).


    • Al hierdie mense het foute, nes ons almal. Ek glo tog Angus se hart is op die regte plek, maar glad nie oortuig van Ray McCauley nie. Ek weet nie veel van Gretha af nie en ook nie van Jan Grey nie.


  5. Nee Analfa, hulle het almal een ding gemeen. Hulle ly iederelk aan grootheidswaan. Ek sweer Angus kry ‘n horing wanneer hy push-ups voor sy skaaptrop doen. Terloops, al ooit gewonder wanneer laas Oompie Aartappel ‘n aartappel in die grond gesit het? Al ooit gewonder hoe hy nou eintlik sy geld maak? Gaan vra gerus sy buurman wanneer laas die man geboer het. Indien dit jou steeds nie oortuig nie, neem gerus die knaap se movie (“Faith like potatoes”) uit en kyk eerstehands hoe hy perdedrolle as vye verkwansel. In een toneel plant hy aartappels; die reën bly weg; geen plant kom op nie, maar toe die man spit, peul daar aartappels uit by die dosyne – loutere, leuenagtige snert, wat outjies soos jy laat ooh en aah. Hy is niks anders as kommin ‘n liegbek wat mense uit hul laaste sente beduiwel nie. “Hart op die regte plek” se voet – indien dit waar was, was Jim Jones se hart ook op die regte plek toe hy sy volgelinge gif laat drink het.


  6. En jy het niks grootheidswaansin nie? En jy’s nie lief vir geld nie? En jy stel die belange van ander bo jou eie? En jy verkleineer niemand nie? En jy verneuk niemand nie en vloek op niemand nie en skree op niemand nie? Oja, en jy suip nie, rook nie, eet nie eens chocolates nie?

    Jissie broer, ek het nooit geweet jy’s so wonderlike persoon nie – ek gaan al my vriende van jou vertel.

    Dis nie mooi om te kritiseer as jy self nie op die morele hoë grond is nie, né?


  7. Gaan slaan die betekenis na van die woordjie “gootheidswaan”. Genugtig Analfa, jy gee nuwe betekenis aan die begrip onopgevoed.


  8. Ek het so aangeneem, ja – moeilik om by te bly met jou spelfoute. Either way, ek weet goed wat al die woorde beteken. Wat is jou punt, dus?


  9. Kom ek spel dit duidelik uit: Godiote soos jy ly aan ‘n erge graad van grootheidswaan. Nie net dit nie, julle is oneerlik en intellektueel bankrot. Duidelik genoeg?


  10. Baie duidelik 🙂

    My respons: Gelowiges streef na nederigheid en eerlikheid, en hulle intelligensies wissel van baie lae na baie hoë IK’s. Gaan kyk na die lewe van Jesus, dan sal jy verstaan wat ek sê. Christene probeer om soos Jesus te leef, ou maat.


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