VIDEO: Bulls CEO's statement on Nkosi's disappearance
WATCH as Blue Bulls Company CEO Edgar Rathbone unpacks the timeline and events leading up to and how they found missing Springbok Sibusiso Nkosi.
You can also read the full statement below the video
Rathbone’s breakdown of the timeline since Nkosi disappeared off the radar:
It was 22 days ago, now, that we began to live in a world where our reality was something we never thought nor could ever anticipate being our reality.
What started as a simple non-appearance for training on Monday 14 November, quickly became a serious case of a missing player.
Four days later, on November 17, having failed to reach Sbu directly through his known channels and numerous visits to his known address here in Pretoria, we mandated our senior men’s manager to rope in the police.
We encountered a few challenges in this regard because we are not immediate family, but still we insisted in continuing our search for Sbu because we are a family and frankly consider all those who form part of this Bulls company, family.
Whilst everyone in the company who had contact with Sbu tried to reach him, whether be it via text or phone calls [without success] we also reached out to our commercial partners to help us broaden the search, as we grew in worry. We know the realities of our beautiful country and that elevated our concerns for the well-being of Sbu.
We were confident that we could locate Sbu without causing public panic but this did not pan out that way, with the story breaking through the media over the weekend.
That meant we needed to fast-track how we deploy the resources we have, but still be strategic enough to give us the best chance at finding Sbu.
Perhaps our search for Sbu picked up defining momentum when [security company] SSG called, offering their tactical support, which offers state-of-the-art intelligence services, that led us to
1. Verifying the authenticity of some of the tips we were receiving,
2. whilst also helping us identify new possible leads
On Monday, December 5, we, alongside SSG, travelled to a location we were confident we could find Sbu, not knowing who or what waited for us but willing to take the chance if it meant we could find him.
Once we reached the town, we stopped at the local police station to solicit their help but we were unsuccessful in this regard, with the police citing that we are not family and thus they cannot intervene. A decision they took after two hours and five minutes of hard negotiations.
Again, SSG stepped up their support to us as the Bulls and gave us the cover that we needed to go knocking at the doors where we thought Sbu was.
At approximately 13:33 we arrived at the location and began to knock, call and pray that we would at least see Sbu.
Fortuitously, as we were considering moving to another address, his father-in-law pulled up to the gate – assuming that he was coming to visit – and he confirmed that Sbu was indeed inside the home. Having last seen him on Wednesday 30 November 2022. That spurred us on as we waited with hope that could not be dampened by the rain.
At approximately 14:02, Sbu stepped up to the gate and opened it for me without hesitation or resistance. We shared brief pleasantries because of the pouring rain and he invited me inside where we spent some 40 minutes speaking.
Specific contents of our conversation I cannot share, as I am sure we all can understand, but in summary, it was important for me to establish that he was okay, safe and unharmed.
Pursuant to that, it was important to try and understand where he is at, what has led to his decision and how we as a company and rugby family can be of support to him.