Item 1463 - President Mandela's Message to Bafana Bafana

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ZA COM MR-S-1463


President Mandela's Message to Bafana Bafana


  • 1997-06-07 (Creation)

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Transcription of speech made by Mr Mandela

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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Migrated from the Nelson Mandela Speeches Database (Sep-2018).

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  • English

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Lucas Radebe
Captain Bafana Bafana

Dear Lucas

On Sunday, 8 June 1997 Bafana Bafana shall be playing their third international game in 14 days. I am certain that at the end of these two weeks, you shall have won the admiration of many more millions of people across the globe.

The games against the Netherlands and England were a fine display of football. They were a wonderful advertisement for Bafana Bafana and your country and its people.

This morning I spent some time evaluating the chances of teams in the different qualifying groups to make it to France in 1998. Your group has been aptly tagged the Group of Death. Aware as I am that you are indeed up against up against quite formidable teams that ate also laying claim to the right to represent Africa in the Finals next year, I am encouraged by the steely resolve your team has displayed thus far. I am convinced that you are fit and deserve a place in the finals.

I am confident that tomorrow you will do what you are already renowned for, which is to keep the flag of your country aloft and like true warriors, go to battle and conquer.

We enjoy good relations with Zambia and wish them well on Sunday. I know they will be treated well on and off the field, both by you and the South African public. But the Zambian people also know that there is just so much at stake that years of solidarity must give way, event if for just 90 minutes, to a rivalry the essence of which is an opportunity to parade our skills in the biggest showpiece on earth - the World Cup.

We shall all be there to cheer you on.


Issued by: Office of the President

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Acquisition method: Hardcopy ; Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation. Accessioned on 08/02/2010 by Zintle Bambata




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