Issued by Vice Chair Elita de Klerk on behalf of the FW de Klerk Foundation, on 31/10/2023


On behalf of the FW de Klerk Foundation, I would like to personally congratulate our national team and join my fellow South Africans in celebrating the Springboks’ glorious win at the 2023 Rugby World Cup at the Stade de France last Saturday.

Winning the trophy means so much more for South Africa than having the best rugby team in the world and being the first nation to have won the Webb Ellis Cup four times. It is a source of inspiration and encouragement for South Africa as a country and its people.

During the tournament, the Springboks have demonstrated – game after game – that working as a unified team pays off. Each player has to give his all and play his designated role to the best of his ability in order to overcome obstacles, score and allow his team to reach the next round. 

Each player has to obey the rules of the game and is bound to accept the decisions of the referee – even if the ruling is not to his liking. In a constitutional democracy like South Africa, the Rule of Law works in pretty much the same way. While we might not always agree with the judgements of the courts, we as citizens have to respect them or challenge them in a prescribed, legal way. 

The Rugby World Cup has in many respects managed what politicians often aspire to, but fail to achieve – it has brought South Africans together from different walks of life, with different racial, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds in fan parks, pubs and other public viewing places. Watching the game together and jointly celebrating the Springboks’ victory over the All Blacks has done more for nation-building and social cohesion than any speech or address to the nation could ever hope to achieve.

It is my and the Foundation’s hope that the spirit of the Rugby World Cup will help South Africans to feel more united and work more closely together, so that the serious challenges that our country is currently facing can be overcome. 

Image © Reuters: Gonzalo Fuentes