Journalist, Haru Mutasa, raises some very valid questions. If the beast had been a goal scroing demon for Bafana Bafana, would the ANC want to deport him? I think not.
Tendai Mtawarira is the BEAST.
His unfortunate nickname is because of the aggressive way he plays rugby – not his looks.
He’s 24 years old, Zimbabwean and a fantastic rugby player (in my opinion).
His crime seems to be playing for the South African Springboks. Some politicians have serious problems with that.
In fact they want him dropped from the Springboks because he is a “kwerekwere” – a foreigner.
Some like Butana Komphela, chairman of the South African national assembly sports committee, want him thrown out of South Africa and deported to Zimbabwe.
Is this fair?
Emmanuel Adebayor is from Togo, plays for Manchester City in the United Kingdom BUT he does not play for England national team.
Michael Essien is Ghanaian, plays for Chelsea in the United Kingdom and he does not play for the English national side.
So why should Beast be treated differently?
That’s what South African Sports minister Makhenkesi Stofile wants to know. He says Beast does not have permission to play for South Africa.
Officially he only has a work permit that allows him to play for a club called the Sharks, so technically he is not a South African citizen.
Beast excelled at rugby as a high school student in Zimbabwe. While representing his country, talent scouts spotted him and organised for him to play for a South African club.
His talent caught the eye of the SA rugby fraternity who asked him to play for the South African Springboks. He has already earned more than 15 caps. There is no denying the man is good at his game.
...or is it xenophobia?
So are those against Beast playing for South Africa right, or is this just another kind of xenophobia - an intense dislike and sometimes hatred of foreigners?
In recent years African foreigners, mainly from neighbouring Zimbabwe, have been forced out of their homes by angry poor South Africans who accuse foreigners of flooding the country and taking their jobs.
Could the sports minister's sentiments be because he feels a South African should be playing in the squad?
But if Beast is better than South Africans out there, shouldn’t he get the chance to play for the Springboks?
Home is not an option
To my knowledge Zimbabwe doesn't have a particularly great rugby side. Maybe playing for Zimbabwe is not an option for Beast.
Playing for the Springboks gives him great international exposure and the chance to make a better life for him in South Africa – and the money is good.
That’s probably why he’s engineering a defence to stay put in South Africa – trying to find a legal loophole to let him play for the Springboks.
It seems as far as Beast is concerned he is South African.
"I am a South African at heart, I love this country. It has become my home,” he told a South African newspaper.
Beast’s experience is certainly not unique.
Former Springboks skipper Gary Teichmann was born in Zimbabwe in the small town of Gweru in 1967. He went on to represent South Africa between 1995 to1999.
So given the fact that this is not the first time this issue has come up in South Africa, should Beast be allowed to represent them internationally? What do you think?
If Beast were a football player and he scored numerous goals for the under-performing Bafana Bafana - would politicians be so keen to kick him out then? What do you think?
Source: The Africa Blog