Smit's soldiers march to war for Africa
TOMORROW our soldiers will be departing to defend our World Cup trophy. Viva the Springboks! The nation is behind you.
We have spoken many a time about the route to New Zealand and our strategic objective. We can repeat it many times just to ensure we rub it in.
In a war situation you can win some battles and lose some, but our strategic objective is to win the war! To Peter de Villiers, coach fantastic, all eyes are glued on positive results. Our hopes are high as nearly 50 million supporters, plus all those in the rest of Africa, are behind you.
We are happy too that a strong team is available to defend the pride of our nation. President Jacob Zuma spoke to the team on Monday, giving you the orders from the first office of the country. As a tradition, when soldiers go to war, they must first go to the king for blessings and final instructions to defend the honour of the community, which was befitting for the team.
In the Springboks we trust, the nation wants new heroes that will emulate the previous teams that did well in the previous World Cups. This team is the jewel of our country. Every team in the World Cup today wants to beat the mighty AmaBhokobhoko. It is always an honour and exciting, and again we are always proud to talk about them because they make us proud. It is because they are a team who really know the meaning of teamwork.
As Wanderley Luxemburgo put it: "A player who conjugates a verb in the first person singular cannot be part of the squad; he has to conjugate the verb in the first plural. We! We want to conquer! We are going to conquer! Using the word 'I' when you are in a group makes things complicated."
We would like to take this opportunity to humbly wish the South African national team good luck in their World Cup tournament in New Zealand next month.
We are delighted and proud that our national team is again going to take part in the World Cup 2011 tournament in New Zealand.
The Springboks are always adding value to this journey of global participation in sport by competing in almost all World Cups and rugby championships since the reacceptance of South Africa onto the international rugby stage.
This determination and dedication by our boys should set an example all our national teams will emulate. We believe that the positive spirit our people displayed during the 1995 and 2007 Rugby World Cups and the 2010 Fifa World Cup, the Netball World Championships and the Cricket World Cup in 2011 must continue.
The wide support that was generated for Bafana Bafana and other national teams must now be inculcated into massive support for the Springboks in their heroic war for the trophy in the upcoming event.
Regardless of whatever happened yesterday, what is happening today and what will happen tomorrow, remember this: "Our real problem, then, is not our strength today; it is rather the vital necessity of action today to ensure our strength tomorrow."
We say to you as a people, go out there and represent your beloved country. We know that you will bring the trophy back home and make us proud again. We trust that you will enjoy New Zealand's world-renowned hospitality and the country's many splendid attractions.
R Kelly sang:"I can see colours of the rainbow . it's the sign of victory." Indeed, victory is certain. Captain John Smith, you are the man, make us proud! We want to book many seats on flights for our supporters to witness the moment you hoist high the Webb Ellis IRB World Cup Trophy 2011.
Let's march to victory. To your soldiers - Victor Matfield, Morne Steyn, Tendai "The Beast" Mtawarira, Brian Habana, Schalk Burger, the magnificent Patrick Lambie, veteran lock Johan Muller, and the rest of the squad - we are on the road to victory!
- Mbalula is Minister of Sport and Recreation