Former Bok coach Peter de Villiers spells out his Good game plan to score a mayoral chain

Pictures of De Villiers squaring up in boxing gloves are emblazoned on the Good party’s campaign posters lining the streets in Paarl.

2021-10-20 12:34:00 AM

Pictures of De Villiers squaring up in boxing gloves are emblazoned on the Good party’s campaign posters lining the streets in Paarl.

Pictures of De Villiers squaring up in boxing gloves are emblazoned on the Good party’s campaign posters lining the streets in Paarl.

“If you grew [up] during that era, you will understand that we stood on street corners and school yards talking politics and how bad the system treated us, where we wanted to be and how to get there. I became a teacher and I was very active in politics and then came 1994, and then my job was done. This was the result of all the fighting. We expected things to change.”

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He is disappointed that “things haven’t changed in SA” since the advent of democracy.“Until now, things haven’t changed,” he said.“I saw it as a divine moment when the Good [Party] came to me ... about standing for the mayor's position. When Patricia de Lille started the party, I became a member. I was actually part of this whole thing. But I didn’t think I would become so active and stand for any position. But as we talked, I realised how one thing fits into the other and that I cannot discard the experiences that I have accumulated.”

And then he “took over” the interview.“What we are doing here is politics,” he said. “How many interviews did I do when I was the Springboks' coach? I did one every day. I understand how journalists think and what they want out of you and who sent them and why they were sent. headtopics.com

Peter De Villiers says he is unfazed by his opponents.Image:Philani Nombembe“I know that you didn’t come here because you wanted to talk to me. Somebody thought, ‘it is going to be a good story for our paper'. You don’t have control of what is going to be in the paper because if that man says, ‘no, no, leave that sentence out, let’s make this a smear campaign rather than an informative story’, that is going to happen,” he charged.

He said he had developed a thick skin.“I don’t have a problem if they do it. What I have learnt about journalists is that if I am the target, they will write whatever they want. So whether it is good news or bad news, I am still relevant. Tell your boss I said this. The difference between me and you is that you went to study journalism and didn’t have to. I just picked it up as I go along.”

He said his Springbok job was a launch pad to bigger things. “When I was a teacher, my playing ground was confined to the schoolyard and then my territory was enlarged when I became the Springbok coach. My playing ground became the whole country and the world. Now my territory has become even larger, it has become the whole community. The one lesson you learn from one area is applicable to the next one.”

De Villiers said if he gets the mayoral chain, he will enter the council chamber as if it were a rugby field.“I am considered as one of the successful coaches of SA rugby,” he enthused.“My strategy is simple. You put the structures in place and the players will look after the outcome. So whatever strategy they need to get me the outcome, I will give them because I can’t control the outcome. They can. headtopics.com

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“The first thing you do in politics, which is what you do in rugby, is to listen to what the people’s needs are. The people who have problems will be able to solve their own problems if you build the structures around them. Everyone is unique.”He said he does not pay attention to other political parties and their election strategies mean nothing to him.

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