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Springboks and world give 67 minutes to the Madiba

getty

irb.com and James Mortimer     19 Jul 2013     getty

Former South African President Nelson Mandela turned 95 on Thursday, his birthday sparking the usual Mandela Day celebrations and efforts.

The objective of Mandela Day is to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better, and in doing so build a global movement for good. Mandela spent more than 67 years serving his community, his country and the world and the number has become symbolic of how people can do the same.

Springbok captain Jean de Villiers, backs Juan de Jongh and Gio Aplon and loose forward Siya Kolisi spent their 67 minutes at the Siyabulela Primary School in Langa outside Cape Town.

As part of the recently-launched 'Boks for Books' campaign, the four Springbok and DHL Stormers stars read to pupils in the school and participated in a Tag Rugby Clinic.

Boks for Books

“Boks for Books is a superb initiative by SARU and it was really humbling to be able to tie it in with giving back on Mandela Day,” said De Villiers.

“We’re very fortunate that we are able to give back to the people and to serve fellow South Africans, no matter where they are from. I’ve experienced first-hand how rugby can play a role in uplifting our countrymen and it’s something that is very dear to me.”

Meanwhile, in Eldorado Park in Soweto, Springbok and Vodacom Bulls loose forwards Pierre Spies and Arno Botha, both currently injured, got their hands dirty by planting trees at Kremetart Park and painting walls at the Andries Meyer Old Age Home.

This was part of a Mandela Day initiative which was organised by Minister of Sport and Recreation, Hon. MP Fikile Mbalula.

“I’m not the world’s greatest gardener or painter, but this was a superb opportunity to lend a hand in communities where people are not as fortunate as we are,” said Spies.

“By making contributions which may seem small to you, you can make a big difference in the life of others.”