Playing the Enemy
When Nelson Mandela dies, white South Africans will mourn him as much black South Africans. But how did someone who was the "bogey man" of white South Africa come to be so deeply loved? How did he win over people who called him a terrorist and wanted him dead? The answer couldn’t be more baffling … he played the enemy.
It all culminated in a rugby game. It was the final match of the 1995 World Cup, between the Springboks and the All Blacks. South Africa, after being shunned by world rugby, was hosting it. The Springboks, hated as ambassadors of apartheid, became national heroes. Rugby, loathed by black people as a symbol of oppression, as repellent as the old Afrikaans national anthem, became the most powerful unifying tool between whites and blacks. It annihilated a looming civil war. It was more than just a game. It was the game that made South Africa a nation.
This was such a significant moment in history that it has been turned into a major Hollywood movie directed by Clint Eastwood, with Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela and Matt Damon as Francois Pienaar, the Springbok captain. HISTORY takes you back to this pivotal moment in South Africa's past.