Mandela 'saved' the Springbok

2013-12-10 14:21
Nelson Mandela hands Francois Pienaar the 1995 RWC trophy (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The Springbok emblem would not exist today if is wasn't for Nelson Mandela, former Springbok captain Francois Pienaar said on Tuesday.

VIDEO: De Villiers, Pienaar thank Madiba

Pienaar was speaking to the Beeld website at Mandela's memorial service at the FNB Stadium in Soweto.

The former president died last Thursday at the age of 95.

"I remember the ANC put a lot of pressure on Mandela to do away with the Springbok, because of what it symbolised during apartheid. Mandela said no, the Springbok is a symbol of excellence," said Pienaar.

Pienaar captained the Springboks when they won the 1995 Rugby World Cup final by beating the All Blacks in the final at Ellis Park.

Mandela was present that day and wore a replica of Pienaar's No 6 Springbok  jersey.

"We didn't realise at the time what it meant when he pulled the Springbok jersey over his head in 1995. It started to sink in the next day and now you realise what it really meant."


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Saturday, 04 July 2020
South Africa v Scotland, Cape Town 17:05
Saturday, 11 July 2020
South Africa v Scotland, Jonsson Kings Park Stadium 17:05
Saturday, 18 July 2020
South Africa v Georgia, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 17:05
Saturday, 08 August 2020
South Africa v Argentina, Emirates Airline Park 14:00
Saturday, 15 August 2020
Argentina v South Africa, Estadio Bicentenario 21:45
Saturday, 29 August 2020
Australia v South Africa, Optus Stadium 14:00

Who should walk away the winner in the Team of the Year category at the 2020 Laureus World Sports Awards?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2019/20 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.