‘An inspiration, a unifier, wise, and a massive gift...’
impact on many people’s lives.
I’m happy in that he is at peace now, I have no doubt he’ll be looking down on South Africa and still taking care of the country.
He’s been incredible for the country when it comes to sport. He played a huge role in that 1995 World Cup, and with all sport he h a s always played a huge role.
He’s always showed an interest in all sport, I don’t think people can quite touch and understand what a big role he played in getting the players to play for the country and then the times when he was at the ground, to play for him. Nelson Mandela has been an ambassador for our nation for so many years... recuperating our country from what it was.
It was exceptional to see and exceptional to be a part of. I just think about the 1995 World Cup, how we as a nation came together through sport, he was the one who inspired us to come together and support the Springbok rugby team and winning that World Cup we saw how the nation came together through his eyes; it was just amazing. (former SA bowler, current SA team bowling coach) When we were playing against India at the Wanderers in 1993, what struck me was that he had time to speak to almost every single player. When it got to my turn, he asked me what the Free State was like, and I was like, ‘you’re not supposed to know that’. It was actually quite scary how much he knew about every individual in that team.
The speech he gave to us on 2003, when he came to our team room before the (opening game of the 2003 World Cup) against the West Indies, it was nothing political, it was about how important the legacy was that we were leaving behind as sporting people and how it brings people closer together in South Africa.
The way he said it, the calmness, the authority, the aura Nelson Mandela had – we had our families there, young kids who won’t remember that day – nothing fired us up more to take on the West Indies. His humility, the peace that he brought about... (South African cricket coach) He was a massive inspiration for the country, he took over our country at a massive and important stage of its development and did a magnificent job in uniting everybody, he’s a really great icon, and example for every South African and person in the world.
That image of him handing over the (1995) World Cup to the winning captain is etched in everyone’s memory, and that will always have a very special place in every sportsperson’s memory in South Africa. Nelson Mandela is an icon, whether in sport or in life, he’ll be highly revered and highly respected around the world. He’s been a massive gift to South Africa.
SPORTS TRIBUTE: An image of Nelson Mandela is portrayed on a TV screen in Adelaide at the start of the second day’s play in the second Ashes Test yesterday, as players (inset) observe a minute’s silence.