The sight of South African rugby team captain, Siya Kolisi, lifting the 2019 World Rugby Cup at the Yokohama Stadium in Japan on Saturday filled President Cyril Ramaphosa with “great pride.”
Writing in his weekly letter, From The Desk of the President, on Monday, 4 November 2019, Ramaphosa said he could see “the undisguised emotion on the face of his father, Fezakele Raymond Kolisi, watching his son, the first black captain of the Springboks, making history.”
“The sight of Springbok captain, Siyamthanda Kolisi, lifting the cup at the Yokohama Stadium on Saturday, 2 November 2019, filled me with great pride,” said the president, who was in Yokohama, Japan, to witness the history-making day of his country’s multi-racial Springboks team lifting the legendary rugby cup for the third time on Saturday.
He noted that Kolisi’s captaincy “not only epitomises the transformation of a sport that was once racially segregated, but it is the power of a dream fulfilled.”
“This is the dream of a young man of humble circumstances to one day wear the green and gold jersey, and of a country that has enabled him to see it realised.
“At a time when South Africa is experiencing profound challenges, we have rallied around the victory in Japan,” Ramaphosa said.
He said the outpouring of support for the Springboks on the road to the Rugby World Cup final “showed the immense potential of sport to unite us as a people.”
“After generations of division, we have become a people with a great sense of national pride,” the president said.
“We are also united by a shared desire for a country where all can live in peace and comfort, where all have an equal chance to achieve their potential. We are united by the vision of a country where the divisions of the past can be overcome, a nation of equality, dignity and respect for human rights.”