Rugby

Sharks hail a great leader

2013-12-06 10:58
Nelson Mandela (AFP)
Durban - The Sharks have joined the rest of the rugby fraternity, South African citizens and the rest of the world in mourning the loss of Nelson Mandela, who passed away on Thursday night.

QUIZ: How well did you know Nelson Mandela?

In a press statement released on Friday, the union said:

"Madiba was the very essence of what each of us should aspire to be. His immense capacity to love, forgive and inspire a generation is some of the many great attributes he possessed.

"We can never forgot the integral role that Madiba had in transferring our nation's opinion on rugby in South Africa, what it stood for and the power it had to unite a nation."

Sharks CEO John Smit was fortunate to meet Mandela on several occasions throughout his playing career and shared a special relationship with him.

Commenting on their relationship, Smit said: "I first met Madiba before my first Test match in 2000 and I was more nervous about meeting the great man than making my Springbok debut. He saw that, smiled and embraced me. He made it just so easy to speak to him.

"For me as a player, the moments I had with him on a one-on-one basis and from a team perspective is something I will cherish forever."

Smit added: "He was loved by the world because of his leadership and ability to connect with people from all walks of life. This is what we will all miss the most but remember the best."

Read more on:    sharks  |  john smit  |  nelson mandela  |  durban  |  rugby
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