WSU captain Litha Nkula has explained why the team have stopped performing the All Blacks haka during the second Varsity Shield bubble period.
WSU were accused by some on social media of ‘cultural appropriation’ after performing a mix of ‘Ka Mate’ and ‘Kapa o Pango’ before their first match of the tournament against DUT at Loftus Versfeld.
Afterwards, Nkula explained why the team performed the haka, and they continued to do it for the remainder of the first bubble.
However, on Sunday, WSU’s haka was notably absent before their first match of the second bubble, against Rhodes at Tuks Stadium, which they went on to win 63-10.
Nkula says their decision to stop performing the haka came after the university received a letter from New Zealand Rugby this past Saturday.
‘New Zealand Rugby asked us not to do the haka for now,’ the fullback told VarsityCup.co.za. ‘They said they can maybe help us to do it in another way or form, because “Kapa O Panga” has deep and meaningful roots in New Zealand.’
On Tuesday, WSU will take on CPUT in a top-of-the-log clash at Tuks Stadium (7pm, SuperSport Rugby channel 211).
Photo: Varsity Sports