Dr EG Jansen, one of South Africa's top rugby schools, lost a match, after which EG Jansen's assistant coach charged into the referee from behind. Strong action against the coach is expected.
The match in question was a Beeld Trophy match between EG Jansen and Kempton Park played at Hoërskool Kempton Park on Saturday, 12 May 2012. Kempton Park won the match 24-18 but there was an ugly incident after the final whistle.
Immediately three black-shirted me, presumably EG Jansen coaches, approached the referee Mlungiseli Mdashe. One of them, whose name apparently is Reghardt Botha, a member of the EG Jansen staff and their director of rugby, who also coaches the Brakpan club, was in animated conversation with the referee, complaining about a decision near the end of the match. The group broke up and Mdashe moved away but stopped to talk to one of the others in the group. While they were talking, Schalk Snyman, an assistant coach at EG Jansen, who is not a member of the EG Jansen staff. Snyman who had been part of the group of three, came up behind the referee and quite deliberately charged him with his shoulder, gesticulated twice and withdrew.
The referee was encouraged to leave the field.
Mdashe is an experienced referee. He started refereeing in 1999 and has been on SA Referees' panels for seven years and is at present on the National Panel, a group of 18 referees just below the eight referees who referee Super Rugby. He is thus one of the top 26 referees in South Africa, a member of the Valke Referees' Society. In addition he is a referees' development officer in the Valke region and has an office at the Valke where Snyman also has an office.
The match took place within the jurisdiction of the Valke Rugby Union. Both schools fall within that provincial jurisdiction. Snyman, according to a Valke spokesman, is a part-time employee of the Valke Rugby Union, involved in coaching the Valke senior provincial team and in coaching schools, including the Craven Week side. No doubt he must rue his action as he will be in hot water.
Alfred Ross, the chairman of the Valke Referees' Society, condemned Snyman's action. He said that the Valke Rugby Union would take tough action.
André Watson, the SARU general manager in charge of referees, himself a member of the Valke Referees' Society said: "It is shocking and tragic that any referee, but especially Mlungiseli, should be treated in this way and it certainly does not meet with my approval. Hopefully they will make an example of the fellow so that a stop can be put to this kind of behaviour."
Watson also mentioned that the falling-off in referees' numbers is exacerbated by each incident of this kind. Watson added: “It is getting to the stage that referees will no longer want to participate in school sports anymore. The coaches will have to blow the matches themselves and then I would like to see what happens."
Last month a schoolboy headbutted a referee and knocked him unconscious. The boy was banned from playing for 10 years of which seven were suspended.
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