I just want to say Happy birthday Madiba and see many years to come ,god bless you and we as south african loves yo
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SASCOC wish Nelson Mandela well
- Updated: July 18, 2011
South Africa’s Olympic governing body SASCOC on Monday joined the world in congratulating Nelson Mandela on his 93rd birthday.
Former President of South Africa, Madiba has always held sport dear to his heart and once said: “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to unite in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. “Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of all types of discrimination.”
Said SASCOC President Gideon Sam on Monday: “Happy Birthday Tata Madiba your contribution to the development of sport will be recorded in the history of the sports movement. We will never forget how you on so many occasions came to the rescue of sport. When we thought, ‘this is the end’, you came forward and guided us. So it was with the Springbok emblem and the decision of the Olympic Movement to go or not to go to Barcelona in 1992.
“You inspired so many sportsmen and women and you always have time to for us when we need advice and even also when we just want to say hello, and leave you with a small gift. Thank you Tata and have a great day at Qunu.
Said SASCOC CEO Mr Tubby Reddy of his memories of Madiba: “I remember taking our medal winners from the Athens Olympics to meet him and [swimmer] Roland Schoeman asked him what lesson could he pass on to them from his incarceration on Robben Island.
“Madiba had two things to say in response. Firstly that one can only learn from one’s own lessons in life.
“Secondly that even back then the white population did not realise value when they saw it. The guards used to eat the inside of the bread and throw the crust into the bin, the best part of the bread, and they used to pick this crust from the bin to feed themselves. I thought this was a particularly interesting story and a real lesson in humility.”
Madiba, himself a keen boxer and track and field athlete in his youth, has long been a firm believer in using sport as a means of bringing the country together.
In fact the celebrating 1995 Rugby World Cup victory proved a defining moment for South African sport when he wore the same jersey as captain Francois Pienaar during the official trophy presentation.