Saturday, October 18, 2008

Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation

Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a NationPlaying the Enemy: Nelson Mandela
Author: John Carlin
Format: Softcover

As the day of the final of the 1995 Rugby World Cup dawned, and the Springboks faced New Zealand’s all-conquering All Blacks, more was at stake than a sporting trophy.

When Nelson Mandela appeared wearing a Springbok jersey and led the all-white, Afrikaner-dominated team in singing South Africa’s new national anthem, he conquered white South Africa.

Mandela’s genius was to transform that which divided black and white South Africa into a force for good.

The green jersey of South Africa’s Springbok rugby team, which whites loved and blacks saw as a detested symbol of racial oppression, became the instrument around which Mandela chose to heal ancient wounds, unite the country and prevent a war. When Mandela stepped onto the field at Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg, on the 24th of June 1995 wearing the green and gold jersey, he captured the hearts of white South Africans, forging an unimaginably powerful patriotic bond with their black compatriots

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