President Cyril Ramaphosa has left for Yokohama, Japan where he will join the Springboks to encourage them ahead of their big game against England in Saturday’s Rugby World Cup final.
Before departing on a flight on Thursday, Ramaphosa said he would visit the Boks in their camp where he would give them “vuma” on behalf of 57 million South Africans who are wishing them well for the game.
“I am going to give them a lot of encouragement so that when they go on the field, they must really go out like springboks. They must jump, run and take the ball like springboks would ordinarily do,” the president said.
Ramaphosa reiterated his call for a moment of silence at 13:00 on Friday and encouraged South Africans to wear their Springbok jerseys.
“If there ever was a time when we should wish them well and wish them the best; and pray for them, this is the time. South Africa’s moment has arrived,” he added.
As the anticipation for the final grows, millions have united behind the team, hoping it brings the trophy home.
If South Africa wins, it will be its third post-democracy trophy, having won the cup in 1995 and 2007.
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has also joined in, wishing the Boks the best of luck.
In a statement, Tutu thanked Springbok captain Siya Kolisi, coach Rassie Erasmus and the rest of the players for taking the team to the final, News24 reported.
“Your dignity, diversity and courage are infectious. You have restored South African rugby pride and made us all feel good about ourselves,” Tutu said on Thursday.
“A World Cup final is a highly pressured environment, but if you feel weightless when you run onto that Yokohama field on Saturday, it will be because you are being carried by the love, respect and prayers of 56 million of us at home.
“You have already won! God bless you.”