Tutu praises Springboks rugby victory for restoring belief in South Africa
England rugby fans may have been distraught over their team’s 12 - 32 defeat at the hands of South Africa’s Springboks in the Rugby World Cup Final at the weekend
But African eyes were smiling as the victory was hailed as not just a win on the rugby field but a triumph that would infuse a sometimes troubled nation with pride and a sense of unity.
Taking to social media, Archbishop Desmond Tutu summed up the feelings of his people when he posted “What a fantastic achievement, Siya Kolisi, Rassie Erasmus, and all the players and staff. You have achieved much more than winning a Rugby World Cup; you have restored a self-doubting nation’s belief.”
The inspiring statement from the 88-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winning champion of social justice appeared on Twitter and Facebook under the headline: TIME FOR SOUTH AFRICANS TO START BELIEVING IN THEMSELVES AGAIN”
It read: “We are a special country, and an extraordinary people. On days such as this we understand that when we pull together the sky is the limit. When we believe in ourselves we can achieve our dreams. Our father, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, is smiling from the heavens today. Halala Siya Kolisi, treasure of the nation!”
It was signed simply ‘God bless you. Love Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Mrs Leah Tutu”
Of course Tutu had already posed a goodwill to the Springbok team before the match began, stating:
“Thank you! Your dignity, diversity and courage are infectious. You have restored South African rugby’s pride, and made us all feel good about ourselves. A World Cup Final is a highly pressured environment, but if you feel weightless when you run onto that Yokohama field on Saturday it will be because you are being carried by the love, respect and prayers of 56 million of us at home. You have already won!”
It appeared under a photograph of the Archbishop Mrs Tutu celebrating the team’s place in the final at their home in Hermanus, on the Cape south coast.