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18 October 2019 | Story Ruan Bruwer | Photo Getty Images
Jaco Peyper
Jaco Peyper, former Kovsie, will handle a quarter-final match at the Rugby World Cup. It will also be his 50th test match.

With the appointment of Jaco Peyper as referee there will be Kovsie alumni among the referees, players and coaches in the quarter-finals of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan on 20 October.

Lappies Labuschagné will start on the flank for Japan in their clash against the Springboks on Sunday. Labuschagné, a former Shimla captain, is second on the list for tackles made in the tournament thus far.
In the Springbok camp there are former University of the Free State (UFS) students in Rassie Erasmus (head coach) and Jacques Nienaber (defence coach).

UFS alumnus Jaco Peyper has been entrusted with the whistle in Sunday’s other quarter-final between Wales and France. It will be a memorable match for Peyper as it will be his 50th test appearance as the 31st man on the field – making him only the third South African to achieve this feat.

Peyper, who is the only South African among the 12 referees at the tournament, made his World Cup debut in 2015 when he officiated the opening match. In total he has handled six World Cup encounters. 

His illustrious career has seen him become only the fourth referee in history to officiate in 100 Super Rugby matches earlier in the year, in which he also handled the final (his fourth Super Rugby final). Peyper scooped the SA Referee of the Year award in 2018 for a third time, a year in which he took charge of his fourth Currie Cup Final.

“The fact that he is only the third South African referee to take charge of 50 tests indicates what a special achievement this is. It takes years of hard work and dedication to reach this level as a referee, and to maintain this standard year-in and year-out is even more challenging as it requires one to produce effective performances consistently,” said Jurie Roux, the CEO of SA Rugby.

News Archive

The Shepherd Centre celebrates decade of empowering spiritual leaders
2016-08-01

The Shepherd Centre functions under the auspices of the Faculty of Theology at the University of the Free State (UFS), and arose out of a need for non-denominational adult-learning programmes for those actively involved in the ministry. According to the director, Dr Gerhard Botha, the centre came into being to assist spiritual leaders: “The Shepherd Centre takes on the shepherding responsibility for spiritual leaders of all Christian churches.”

Planning started in 2005, when the need was identified for foundation-phase education in the wider church community. Dr Botha was appointed as the director of the centre in 2006, and given the task of compiling a suitable curriculum. The aim of the curriculum is to enable spiritual leaders to provide current interpretations of scripture for a modern society. From the first handful of students a decade ago, The Shepherd Centre has grown by mid-2016 to 300 adult learners enrolled in the short learning programmes, many of which are catered for at the satellite sites in Kimberley, Koffiefontein, Kroonstad, Qwaqwa/Kestell, Thaba Nchu, Zeerust, and the South Campus of the UFS.

This initiative has extended its reach even further than the boundaries of the Free State. In 2014, Dr Botha and Prof Fanie Snyman, Dean of the Faculty of Theology, visited Ethiopia, and signed an agreement of mutual collaboration with the Full Gospel Church there. In addition, a Shepherds4Africa programme is involved in Christian communities and with Christian religious leaders in several other countries, providing training opportunities to various indigenous churches, with the greater vision of spreading the Word to all countries in Africa and beyond. Dr Botha states that their hope is to provide the tools needed in order to make the community of faith as healthy so as to build its moral fibre.

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