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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 November, 2003, 14:14 GMT
Minister demands Boks inquiry
New Zealand scoring try against S Africa, Rugby World Cup
South Africa were crushed in the quarter-final by New Zealand
South Africa's sports minister Ngconde Balfour has called for an investigation into the Springboks' "unorthodox" World Cup preparations.

Balfour made his feelings clear after a video of naked players at "Camp Steel Wire" was shown around the world.

He said: "This was apartheid-style military training and was dehumanising for the players.

"In discussion with the Sarfu president I have expressed my total condemnation and disgust at elements of the camp."

On the video, the national squad are crawling naked through the African bush.

They are shown carrying railway tracks and tractor tyres and standing in a freezing dam, with their hands and rugby balls covering their genitals.

Balfour said: "While I accept and encourage the need for team building, there is no place for militaristic and dehumanising practices in our sport."

He added that he was concerned about both the results of the team in Australia and the fact that the side included just one black player among the 22.

Springboks captain Corne Krige
Captain Krige "would not recommend some parts of the training"

"I am extremely unhappy with both the performance and the levels of representation in the team in Australia," Balfour said.

The Springboks were beaten by England in the group stages and eventually lost 29-9 to New Zealand in the quarter-finals.

Balfour added that he expected Sarfu to present a plan of action to ensure both these issues had been addressed by the next World Cup in France in 2007.

"I want to repeat what I said on the eve of the departure of the team for the World Cup. Rugby will be never be business as usual again."

Springbok skipper Corne Krige said the players were taking legal advice on their position regarding the world-wide screening of the training.

"It doesn't mean that we will take legal steps. We want to keep our options open," Krige told the Afrikaans daily Beeld.

Naked Springboks tested at camp
16 Nov 03  |  Africa
Boks drop race row pair
30 Aug 03  |  South Africa


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