Cape Town - Siya Kolisi and his Springbok team mates visited the iconic Robben Island in Table Bay, north of the Cape Town city centre, on Wednesday, a #LoveRugby initiative.
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The Boks enjoyed lunch at the V&A Waterfront before embarking on a ferry for the half hour trip from Table Bay Harbour to the island.
Rassie Erasmus, his management and players were given an extensive tour of the famous World Heritage Site by Itumeleng Makwela, a former inmate, which included a visit to the prison cell of the late Nelson Mandela, where he was held as a political prisoner for 18 years.
Kolisi described his visit to Robben Island as an inspirational and emotional occasion.
“It was very inspiring and humbling to listen to the story of Mr Mandela and his fellow political prisoners. As a group, we felt very privileged to have made the journey across to Robben Island,” said Kolisi.
Morongoa Ramaboa, spokesperson for the Robben Island Museum, said it was an honour to welcome the Springboks: “For us, the museum is a representation of the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. The Boks are our icons of inspiration and we hope they will be triumphant on Saturday.”
The Boks were also accompanied by Zelda la Grange, the former long-serving private secretary of Madiba.
There were two other activations earlier on Wednesday. Damian de Allende, Akker van der Merwe and Schalk Brits popped into SA Rugby’s award-winning rugby museum at the V&A Waterfront, the Springbok Experience, for a brief meet and greet session.
And eight Boks – Pieter-Steph du Toit, Lukhanyo Am, Makazole Mapimpi, Bongi Mbonambi, Oupa Mohoje, Marvin Orie, Robert du Preez and Willie le Roux – attended a signing session at Canal Walk, organised by team sponsor MTN, where a couple of hundred supporters came out to the popular shopping centre to get autographs and selfies with their favourite players.