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Luyt told to keep his distance from the game
Cape Town
April 5, 2000

Former South African Rugby Football Union (SARFU) president Louis Luyt has been told to keep his distance from the game by sports minister Ngconde Balfour.

The minister issued a statement on Tuesday to quash press speculation that Balfour backed Luyt's re-entry to the sport's corridors of power.

Luyt was labelled as mischievous by Balfour for "allegedly misleading provincial rugby presidents who met in Johannesburg on March 31 by claiming he has the backing and/or support of the minister to return to the administration of rugby."

The meeting attracted 11 of South Africa's 14 provincial presidents.

In his statement Balfour said: "As a person whose role in rugby had not been without major controversy, it would be a better option if Dr Luyt concentrated on leading his political party in parliament instead of causing the destabilisation of rugby.

"For Dr Luyt to have attended any meeting of provincial presidents is not only mischievous but also an indication of how power-hungry Dr Luyt appears to be to return to rugby."

Luyt has been concentrating on his career as a South African member of parliament since becoming head of his own Federal Alliance Party in 1999.

He was ousted as SARFU's president in May 1998 following a damaging legal campaign he waged against Nelson Mandela's government.

He stood down after a motion of no confidence was passed in him at an extraordinary meeting of the union. The meeting came amid fears that the Springbok rugby team could be plunged back into international isolation.

When asked about his future plans, Luyt is reported to have said through a spokesman, "I am a politician now."

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