WORLDPOST
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Ras Dumisani, Reggae Singer, Angers South Africans After Butchering National Anthem (VIDEO)

It's excruciating. And, to tens of thousands of YouTube viewers who have sent around the video, it's pretty hilarious. But to South African sports fans, it's sacrilege.

The footage is of reggae singer Ras Dumisani tunelessly singing "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika," the South African national anthem, at the start of an international rugby game against France at Toulouse's Stade Municipal. South Africa went on to lose the game, but the anthem hurt more.

Now, The Times of London has reported that the South African Rugby Union has lodged a complaint with the French authorities over the anthem. Union President Oregan Hoskins is quoted as saying:

"The performance of the anthem is a treasured part of any rugby international and we take great pains in this country in the selection and rehearsal of artists to ensure that we appropriately honour all anthems.

However French officials hit back, saying they had not made the choice of Dumisani to sing the anthem, instead blaming the South African embassy. According to Reuters, the embassy is too denying responsibility, and also accusing the French of hanging the South African flag the wrong way.

Naas Botha, a legendary South African player, even told South African paper Business Day that the anthem might have been behind the team's loss:

"It was sad that we lost the game," said Botha. "But after that absolute disaster of a national anthem, everything went wrong. It was shocking and definitely didn't assist in creating a calm atmosphere for the team, as it should have. Someone has to be taken to task for this disaster.

And what does Dumisani have to say for himself? The BBC reports Dumisani blamed the match organizers, who wanted to "sabotage" his performance with a "too old" microphone and a "too fast" orchestra. The plot thickens...

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