Salie Fredericks Dies

Fri, 07 Jul 2017 12:15
Large salie fredericks sa rugby 800

OBITUARY: Paul Dobson pays respect to Salie Fredericks, an outstanding forward of yesteryear, who died in Cape Town on Thursday, July 6.

He was 73 years of age.

Fredericks, whose full name was Moegamat Salie Fredericks, was born in Woodstock, Cape Town, in 1944. He was educated at St Philip's Primary School and then at Harold Cressy Secondary School, a young school then as it was founded in 1951 as Cape Town Secondary School. 

At neither school was rugby played but Fredericks played in the street and then, at the age of 16, joined Roslyns Club as a Junior, the oldest club in the old Western Province Coloured RFU. He was then a flyhalf capable of kicking with both feet.

As he bulked up he became a flank and then a lock, very much in the Frik du Preez mould and often compared to the great Frik.

He was 17 when first chosen for Green Point-based Western Province and 18 when he was chosen for a joint Western Province Coloured and Black African team that beat their Eastern Province equivalent. 

At 19 he played in the Western Province team which won the Rhodes Cup final against Boland. At the age of 23 he first captained Western Province and under his captaincy they won the Rhodes Trophy in 1969, beating City & Suburban 5-0 at City Park. 

That was the last Rhodes Trophy as, from 1971, teams competed for the SA Cup and under Fredericks Western Province won in the first three SA Cup finals in 1971, 1972 and 1973 through their powerful pack and their scrumhalf Cassiem Jabaar.

In all, Fredericks played just short of 200 matches for Western Province.

In 1963, Fredericks made his Test debut, playing for the SA Coloured against the SA Africans at Green Point Track, a match the African Springboks won 9-3. Danie Craven attended the match. The next year he played in the only match between the SA Federation and the SA Coloureds, a bitter and violent match which the Federation won. It was the only match between the two bodies.

In all, Fredericks played in nine Tests for the SA Coloured Rugby Board and then the SA Rugby Union. He captained the side in 1968. His last Test was in 1970, the last SARU played as it decided not to continue with race-based matches.

Fredericks worked in the building trade but suffered severely from diabetes, having both legs amputated.

For a while he lived in Gordon's Bay and then in Panorama. The Funeral, on Friday morning, started from his home in Panorama and he was then buried in the Mowbray Muslim Cemetery in Observatory. He is survived by a son and a daughter, and five grandchildren.

He was a great man.

By Paul Dobson
@rugby365com