André Nel is an unlikely ‘bad boy’. He is, by and large, a cap-doffer from a middle class family with traditional values. His greatest crime is to be easily influenced and prone to spontaneous action with zero forethought.
In Antigua he was easily persuaded by Roger Telemachus to join the spliff-smoking party that included Herschelle Gibbs, Paul Adams, Justin Kemp and Craig Smith.
When the group was busted they agreed to ‘stick together’ in the belief that safety existed in numbers. They agreed to share the blame although, very clearly, blame was not equally proportioned.
The following day, however, under a weight of shame, Nel broke ranks and told Die Beeld that he had never touched the joint, let alone had a puff.
Now he finds himself in an equally awkward spot having done something so stupid one is inclined to wonder whether the man may be simple minded.
In Australia you never, ever need to wait for more than 10 minutes for a taxi (except on New Year’s eve). And in Hobart there is only one decent pub and it’s about 50 metres from the team hotel.
Drunk driving is a heinous pest, a wart on the face of South African society, so Nel must be punished.
The UCB know he must be punished, however ‘innocent’ he may have been, because an example must be set and a clear message sent to the nation that drunkenness will not be tolerated from role models.
Unfortunately, an example has already been set. The president of the Union, no less, was hammered (on duty) during a World Cup match a few weeks back and he was not even reprimanded.
A senior player told me: “It’s depressing to see them (administrators) make up one set of rules for themselves and another for us.”
Whatever punishment is handed out to Nel should be given to Sonn. Or Nel should be let off – and we all know that wouldn’t be right.
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