Madiba might just help South Africa pull it off with God

THE last time South Africa partied like we are partying now Nelson Mandela had just been released from 27 years in prison.

THE last time South Africa partied like we are partying now Nelson Mandela had just been released from 27 years in prison.

Remember, Madiba so mesmerised even dyed-in-the-wool racists on his release that many of them burnt their AWB regalia and wept with love - love for a man they had hated like vermin, but were now discovering was actually a Messiah sent to save them.

The nation is united once more behind one ideal, which is a rarity in South Africa.

As I write the town is abuzz, as if a trillion gazillion bees have been unleashed in a tiny room. The sweet din of the vuvuzelas must reach the heavens above.

It is not only noisy blacks from Diepsloot and Orange Farm, but also company executives - male and female - from across all race groups.

I can feel it - it is here.

Talking about which, I am reminded of an issue I have raised on several occasions in the past: praying (for a win) before playing.

As I have moaned in the past, whatever makes any sports person believe that God would decide to give victory to anyone or any side because he was asked to?

We have all heard people win games and then declare: "God is on my side. My God loves me."

The implication is that He dislikes the opponents. Imagine God sitting on His throne, processing prayers and telling a fat, arthritis-ridden slob who prays to Him sincerely on the eve of the comrades: "Okay, son, I hear you. Tomorrow you will win the Comrades."

Rubbish. We can pray until our voices turn hoarse, God is not interested in whether we win or lose.

One of my most favourite people, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, said in a recent interview that God is not Christian - he is a god of us all, even non-believers.

He said: "Imagine if the Dalai Lama got to heaven and God told him: You were such a wonderful guy.

"Pity you were not a Christian."

Ditto for Madiba, Sisulu and so on, and the people who gave the world hamburgers and Coke, cold beer and jazz.

If prayer had anything to do with it, Brazil and Spain would be hopeless underdogs, for not many of us are aware of their proclivity for prayer.

The Vatican (it is a country, by the way) would be a world beater.

So when we pray, I hope, we do it to thank the Almighty for a very happy ending to Madiba's dream, in his lifetime nogal.

We say a word of thanks for pulling it off in spite of concerted distractions from doomsayers in this country and outside.

And, yes, we want to hoist the World Cup. And miracles happen, you know. Vaal Professionals once beat the mighty Orlando Pirates.

Perhaps God can indulge us that favour, for He loves us all.

Yes, God loves us all. But I have a hunch He loves Madiba more, and maybe we might just have the Mother of All Parties come July 12.

For that I pray.