MZANSI’s rugby world champions spread their wave of joy and excitement across Mzansi yesterday.
- Before going to Joburg, the Springbok team met President Cyril Ramaphosa and most of the Cabinet at Tshwane’s Union Buildings, where they were met with loud cheers and dancing from fans who came from all over the capital to see them.
Before giving the president the trophy, Captain Siya Kolisi thanked him, Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa and the public for their continuous support. “We are proud to present the trophy to you, Mr President and we thank you and the minister. We are happy to present the trophy to our loyal fans who backed us all the way.”
The president thanked the Boks for their effort. He said when he went to wish them well before the match, the team told him they were scared.“But what I saw on their faces was a team that had already won.
“These are our warriors who went to war and brought back the trophy.”
Tshwane came to a standstill as the trophy was paraded around the city. They moved to Loftus Versfeld Stadium and then to the inner CBD.
Mabatho Mathebula (21) said it was liberating to see South Africans standing together like this. “I have never experienced South Africa this way,” she said
- Braamfontein in the heart of Jozi came to a halt yesterday as Nelson Mandela Bridge became the meeting place for hundreds of proud South Africans.
On Jan Smuts Avenue, university students, pupils and people with flags and T-shirts sang and danced while taking photos and videos.
From the top of the bus, Kolisi raised the Web Ellis Trophy to cheers and smiles of the crowd.
A young rugby lover, with luck and skill, threw his rugby ball into the bus – and a player caught it, signed it, passed it to Kolisi who also signed it and threw it back to the lucky fan. Even Joburg Metro police riding with the Boks revved their motorbikes as they drove through the CBD.
- In Jozi’s Riverlea, mostly kids lined up to catch a glimpse of their heroes.
- The green bus of champions was a gift for Sowetans who got to see them on Chris Hani Road, past Maponya Mall and on to the Hector Pieterson Memorial.
From tomorrow, the squad will parade the Webb Ellis Cup in Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town till Monday.