Play­ing on Madiba’s team

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - COMMENT -

AAfricans. MONG the many lega­cies of Nel­son Man­dela is sport as a uni­fy­ing force. The tri­umphal im­ages of the Spring­boks in 1995 and Bafana Bafana in 1996 were seared into the psy­che of our na­tion as the term “Madiba Magic” took root.

In a coun­try still bat­tling to over­come the his- toric im­bal­ances wrought by colo­nial and apartheid leg­is­la­tion, sport is one of the true na­tion-builders and ce­menters of our young democ­racy.

Man­dela opened the doors to in­ter­na­tional par- tic­i­pa­tion and made us be­lieve in our­selves and our abil­ity to go toe-to-toe with the world’s best.

On Thurs­day, our coun­try – and in­deed Africa – could again stand tall as one of our own, Daryl Im­pey, took own­er­ship of the fa­bled yel­low jersey in the world’s great­est cycling race, the Tour de France.

And this week Sports Min­is­ter Fik­ile Mbalula vowed that the legacy of Man­dela would never die as he an­nounced a Sports Day in hon­our of the global hero.

“As we con­tinue to sol­dier on to cel­e­brate his legacy, th­ese are the things he lives for, like the Nel­son Man­dela Chil­dren’s Fund and the Nel­son Man- dela Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal,” Mbalula said at the launch of the Nel­son Man­dela Sports Day ini­tia­tive. “He did not do those things for him­self, he did them to make a dif­fer­ence for oth­ers and that is what we must carry on as a peo­ple.”

The Spring­boks and Bafana Bafana will play in­ter­na­tional matches against Ar­gentina and Burki- na Faso at FNB Sta­dium on Au­gust 17 – Nel­son Man­dela Sports Day – with pro­ceeds go­ing to the chil­dren’s hos­pi­tal that bears his name.

It is apt that, as the for­mer states­man lies fight­ing for his life in hos­pi­tal, we hon­our him through our ef­forts in the world’s sport­ing are­nas and in our ev­ery­day lives as proud South

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