Matfield: I am a proud South African

The interim Boks captain has hit back at Cosatu’s criticism on his choice of scrum cap.

The interim Boks captain has hit back at Cosatu’s criticism on his choice of scrum cap. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Interim Springbok captain Victor Matfield has hit back at the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) after the trade union federation criticised his choice of scrum cap during the national side's win over Scotland in Port Elizabeth over the weekend.

In a statement that questions why so few black players are included in the team in big games, Cosatu also says the cap is reminiscent of the hats the former South African police's riot squad wore.

The federation says Matfield does not understand the effect the skull cap has on black people and has called on him to wear head gear bearing the country's new national symbols instead.

Matfield says he meant no harm.

"Rugby in South Africa has done do much for this country and I'm a proud South African and not an 'Afrikaaner' or anything. I'm proud to play for my country. Sometimes one or two people have an opinion but I am a proud South African, we love our country and we play for our country."

Cosatu has reportedly appealed to Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula to intervene at the South African Rugby Union, which it has labelled an 'old boys' club' that gives preference to white players.