Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira has tweeted out a statement which confirms that his book, Beast, has been delayed indefinitely.
Initially scheduled to be released on July 1, the delay comes after social media went into overdrive, criticising what is viewed as disrespectful and inaccurate comments aimed at former Springbok coach, Peter de Villiers.
In the statement, Tendai is quoted as saying: “With the reaction of some commentators to a single paragraph from the book as a possible indicator of the level of media attention and interest, we felt it necessary to delay the release of the book.”
He also stated that he wants to “focus solely” on his rugby in “preparation for possible inclusion in the World Cup squad.”
The book alleges that Coach de Villiers “didn’t do much” as a Springbok coach and repeats the rugby media’s assertion that he was “handed a really good squad of players” who did “most of the work”.
Social media commentators have attacked his comments as repeating subtly racist comments about coaches of colour to undermine their contributions.
It has also been suggested by many that he made these comments so that his book can appeal to white South Africans who hold racist views.
Responding to the book’s contents, Coach de Villiers expressed sadness, especially given the fact that he had to fight hard to get Tendai citizenship and a place on the Springbok squad.
This sentiment was shared by many of social media and confirmed by Tendai himself.
Coach de Villiers, who had broken many records against the All-Blacks, also pointed out that the 2007 World Cup wining squad was inherited from his Under 21 World Cup winning squad.
See below some of the comments left on Social Media