An old photo of Victor Matfield and Fourie du Preez with a dead zebra is causing outrage on Facebook.
JOHANNESBURG - The online campaign against American huntress Melissa Bachman has now spread to include local sports heroes Victor Matfield and Fourie du Preez.
A recent picture of Bachmann proudly posing next to a dead lion with a hunting rifle in her hand has resulted in outrage on social plaftorms Facebook and Twitter, with a petition being put together calling for Bachman to be banned from entering South Africa.
On her trip to South Africa, Bachman tweeted,
An incredible day hunting in South Africa! Stalked inside 60-yards on this beautiful male lion...what a hunt! pic.twitter.com/CGdDoRGTF2— Melissa Bachman (@MelissaBachman) November 1, 2013
In 2011, Matfield tweeted a photo of himself and Fourie du Preez with a dead zebra. The pair, smiling appear triumphant after their successful hunt. Matfield removed the picture from his profile after negative comments were made in 2011.
Now that same picture has been making the rounds again in light of the Bachman incident.
Self-proclaimed advocate for the voiceless Jani Allan shared the Matfield picture on her profile saying, “You’re upset with Melissa Bachman? Then I hope you’re upset with Victor Matfield and Fourie du Preez as well. We deserve better from SA rugby players.”
More people shared the photo on Matfield’s fan page with comments of outrage.
Elaine Hurford said, “We don’t need to import Melissa Bachman to kill our animals. We have Victor Matfield and his chums.”
Matfield’s agent Gerrie Swart said the rugby player would not comment on new reactions to the old photograph.
“Victor&39;s official position is that he does not want to comment on the matter. The photo was removed from Twitter out of respect towards people who was of the opinion that it was insensitive. Victor&39;s respect for their opinions remains.”
“He regards the matter as finalised. This has been the case since 2011,” said Swart.
Animal activist Noeline Van den Berg has condemned the actions of Matfield and Du Preez.
The Fur Free media liason officer said, “I am truly shocked and saddened that two sport heroes can set such a horrific example for all their fans, especially children who admire these two men.”
“Killing an innocent zebra is no different to killing a rhino,“ said Van den Berg.
But others on twitter asked what the problem with hunting zebra is, if they are not endangered.
The official word from the Department of Environmental Affairs is that legal hunting is a valuable contributor to the South African economy.
At a hunting indaba in 2012, Minister Edna Molewa said that industry-controlled hunting contributed R1.1 billion to the economy in 2010 and millions more in previous years.