‘Wit kant! Wit kant!’ does not mean what Tom Curry thinks it means

By Lucky Maree

Tom Curry decided Bongi Mbonambi was shouting a racial slur at him, while it has now emerged that Mbonambi wasn’t thinking about him at all.

In a video clip that has emerged in the last 24 hours, it appears that Mbonambi was shouting “wit kant!” several times and it is clearly some instruction for his fellow players, probably warning them that the “white” team (a reference to the white jerseys of England) had switched their attack to a different “side”. 

The Boks often use Afrikaans to keep their signals and messages secret from the opposing team.  

What we also hear through the referee’s on-field mic, is Curry complaining that Mbonambi had insulted him racially. “Sir! Sir! What should I do?!”

If it wasn’t so serious, it would be funny.

South Africa is a country that has a history of racial issues. While the people on the ground have worked at making conciliation a reality, many politicians from all spectrums have made sure that the tensions remain bubbling just under the surface.

Since 2018, when Rassie Erasmus took over as Springbok coach, he has moved mountains to unify the nation in sport and to virtually banish racial issues from rugby in general and specifically the Springboks.

Erasmus, and others, such as Siya Kolisi, have made “Stronger Together” a slogan that most South Africans have embraced.

And along comes Tom Curry. The fact that this is now an issue that World Rugby is investigating — and that the Springboks are obliged to take seriously, is a slur, yes. But it is not the imaginary racial slur that Tom Curry has dished up, it is a smear against him and the entire England team.

Bongi Mbonambi is in the dock, and who knows what Bill Beaumont and the merry men of World Rugby will conclude. (They have the same grasp of the Afrikaans language as Tom Curry.) They may force an apology from Mbonambi, but he is not the one who should be apologising.

Pictured above: Tom Curry and Bongi Mbonambi. 

Image source: X


Recent articles