Thank you for 2010, Madiba

Madiba remains a source of inspiration to millions of sport-loving South Africans. With his great sporting prowess, he conquered many man-made injustices to create non-racial sports.

We all remember that historic day in 2005 when he lifted the Fifa World Cup trophy in Zurich and declared to the world: "Africa's time has come, South Africa is ready."

During the struggle, Madiba's boxing gloves were a symbol of hope to people who dreamt of representing their country internationally. But their resolve to uphold the principle of fairness made them join the sports boycott and reaffirm that there can be no normal sport in an abnormal society.

Today, sport is a driving force of national development. We have conquered the world on many fronts, including winning the African Cup of Nations in 1996 and Rugby World Cup 1995.

Sport continues to be a symbol of hope for families struggling to untangle themselves from poverty.

Our gratitude to Madiba and his comrades and compatriots for bringing the World Cup to Africa. Thank you, Madiba, for making it possible for the children of the world to play under the bright African skies. Many happy returns, Madiba.

Monde Mkalipi, Department of Sport and Recreation