Media statement of the Minister of Sport and Recreation South Afrca, Honourable Fikile A Mbalula (MP), on the occasion of the welcoming function of the national team, The Springbok from the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup, OR Tambo International Airport, Gauteng, Republic Of South Africa, 10 October 2011
10 Oct 2011
Friends and Compatriots;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
Fellow South Africans;
On 01 September 2011, our nation called upon our ‘last line of defence’; the Springboks – our glorious army in the field of sport and recreation to go and defend our national pride and glory. On that fateful day the people of the Republic of South Africa commanded our ‘sport marines’, amaBhokoBhoko to go to New Zealand and raise our Flag High in pursuit of victory and glory. We called upon national squad to use our military strength and infrastructure in the war to defend our trophy. They did this job diligently!
Our boys continue to make us proud. They won against Wales in our opening match of the world cup on the 10 September 2011; and they further made us proud when they clashed with Fiji on the 17 September 2011. Again on Thursday morning, 22 September 2011; our boys trashed Namibia in a clash for a ticket to demonize Samoa. We won against Samoa for a ticket into the quarter finals.
Yesterday, the 09th of October 2011, South Africa entered into a fierce battle with the Australian side. As we all know by now, our national Rugby Team, the mighty Springboks, has yesterday morning bowed out of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup after putting a vociferous battle against the Wallabies at Wellington Regional Stadium.
At the score board now speaks for itself, the margins are narrow, attesting to the fact that it was a neck-to-neck race against time. Unfortunately as the clock ticked the eightieth minute, it was the Australians that were ahead by a paltry two points.
Present at the stadium as this national battle for glory and pride unfolded and alongside our Bokke Warriors was me and the people of the Republic. We saw it all and we were there to support our national pride. We were side by side with our boys. We shared the sweating and we shared the pain till the last whistle blow as the writing on the wall ushered in a reality that we have now traversed our furthest journey in the 2011 IRB World Cup.
It is now time to officially welcome these battle-hardened warriors who have mounted their airborne Calvary and crossed the oceans and made it safely back to the South African shores. The first platoon hit our ground on this afternoon, 10 October 2011, at 16h00.
I’ve officially led this entourage together with Mr. James Stofberg, Mr. Peter de Villiers, Mr. Dick Muir, Mr. Gary Gold, Mr. John Smit, Mr. Victor Mayfield, Mr. CJ van der Linde, Mr. Brian Habana, Mr. Schalk Burger, Mr. Jean de Villiers, Mr. Jacque Fourie and Mr. Danie Rossouw and the rest of our national team will arrive in staggered intervals between Tuesday and Wednesday.
SRSA working with LeadSA and the SA Rugby Union (SARU) is therefore officially welcome our national team this afternoon. We do this fully aware of the protagonists and the prophets of doom that they will not leave any stone unturned to portray negativity and mediocre and mercerizing new ideas of attack against our glorious team.
Going forward; we call on all our people to keep supporting our national team, amaBhokobhoko. Let us all prepare ourselves for the next coming Sport and Recreation Indaba in November 2011 to discuss the future of our Sport and Recreation system. Today let us celebrated the victory of the Springboks; they continue to make us proud. The Wallabies did not beat us; we had the victory to ourselves. Well done!
Forward Ever! Backward Never!!
I thank you!
Issued by: Sport and Recreation South Africa
10 Oct 2011
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