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03 October 2019 | Story Ruan Bruwer | Photo Gallo Images
Lappies Labuschagne
Lappies Labuschagné got his first rugby contract with the Cheetahs after impressing for the Shimlas. He is now playing for Japan – the first Shimla to do so.

Former Shimla Lappies Labuschagné made his ex-coach Jaco Swanepoel proud when he was recently included in the Japan Rugby World Cup (RWC) squad.

Labuschagné, made his debut for Japan on 28 September as captain shortly before the tournament, which is currently under way there, then led Japan to a historic win over Ireland, the world’s fourth-ranked team.


Labuschagné has been playing his rugby in Japan since 2016. Previously, he played for the Shimlas between 2009 and 2012 and captained the team in 2012. At that time, Swanepoel was the head coach of the Shimlas. 

“I’m extremely glad that he got his chance to play in the World Cup, just to prove that he can compete at that level. It was wonderful to see the leadership we knew he had on Saturday,” Swanepoel said.

He believes Labuschagné was unlucky not to have played for the Springboks. In 2013, he was called up to the South African squad, but failed to force his way into the congested Springbok back row. 

“Subjectivity in team selection was the reason that he wasn’t considered. He deserved to be selected and he worked extremely hard. I don’t know of a player who worked harder than him. Nobody wanted to work out with him in the gymnasium, because he always put in extra effort. That made him special.”

Swanepoel describes Labuschagné as a “very special person”.

“Lappies the human being is perhaps a little bit better than Lappies the rugby player.”  

“Hopefully we can get a Japan rugby jersey from him to display in the Shimla room soon,” Swanepoel added.

Labuschagné isn’t the only former Kovsie at the RWC. In the Springbok management team, Rassie Erasmus (head coach), Jacques Nienaber (defence coach), and Vivian Verwant (physiotherapist) are also former Kovsies.


News Archive

Nigeria’s Boko Haram: Why negotiations are not an option
2014-10-23



There has been much speculation if the recently announced ceasefire in Nigeria as well as talks with Boko Haram will indeed secure the release of about 200 girls kidnapped by this religious militant group.

Talks already started between the government and Boko Haram but there are still doubts if the girls will be freed and if the Nigerian government can successfully negotiate with Boko Haram. Prof Hussein Solomon, Senior Professor at the University of the Free State, regards this current negotiations as a terrible idea.

“At a time when Boko Haram’s strength is escalating, the correlatory weakness of the Nigerian government is increasingly exposed. As Nigerians prepare for the next presidential elections, embattled President Goodluck Jonathan is increasingly desperate to negotiate with Boko Haram to secure the release of schoolgirls seized by the terrorists earlier this year and to negotiate a ceasefire. This is a terrible idea. It makes a mockery of the rule of law and of the thousands of innocent victims of the militant violence. More importantly, it will only serve to fuel the terrorists’ ambitions further as the powerlessness of the government is exposed.”

Prof Solomon says religious intolerance is on the rise on the African continent, with a concomitant rise in terrorist incidents. In Algeria, extremist terrorism carries the name of Jund al Khilafah or Caliphate Soldiers in Algeria. In Mali it is Ansar Dine or Defenders of the Faith. In Somalia it is Al Shabaab (The Youth). But none of these organisations come close to the carnage wrought by Nigeria’s Boko Haram (literally meaning Western education is forbidden).

Boko Haram has carried out more than 1 000 attacks since 2010, which has resulted in the deaths of 10 000 people and a further 6 million affected by this terrorist violence. The 300 000 Nigerian refugees who have fled this tsunami of terrorism and have sought refuge in neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger, provide adequate testimony to the human costs of such terrorism. Boko Haram, meanwhile, has formed tactical alliances with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Al Shabaab and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which means that the groups are sharing intelligence, tactics and material support. This cooperation has also resulted in increasingly sophisticated terror attacks mounted by Boko Haram.

Read more about Prof Solomon and his research.


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