The winning of the 1995 Rugby World Cup by South Africa was a wonderful step in reconciliation. Nelson Mandela will forever be identified with that glorious moment in our rugby history. Here are some quotes attributed to him by Jennifer Crwys Williams in the book edited by her ‘In the words of Nelson Mandela’.

“On the Rugby World Cup, South Africa, 1995 Our whole nation stood behind a sport which was once a symbol of apartheid. When it was 12/12 I almost collapsed. I was absolutely tense. When I left the stadium my nerves were completely shattered. I’m still recovering.”

The last quote was from an interview with the ‘New York Times’ in 1997, while the first quote had the following footnote:

“None more so than Nelson Mandela himself. He appeared at the final wearing captain Francois Pienaar’s No 6 shirt – and brought the entire country along with him, surely one of the most successful efforts at reconciliation in South Africa.”


I believe a book has been written on our 1995 triumph and a film is following. On ‘Cape Talk’ the other day discussion was taking place on which actor would portray the South African captain, Francois Pienaar. Phoned in an aggrieved listener, “Who is gong to take the part of Joel Stransky?”Fly half, Joel Stransky, kicked all SA’s points in the final, his magnificent drop in extra time procuring our 15-12 win over arch-rivals, New Zealand. Stransky was the 10th Jew to don Springbok colours, making a minyan. It was another Jewish player, prop Okey Geffin, who in 1949, at Newlands, kicked five penalties for SA against the visiting All Blacks, to seal a 15-11 win. Here is what Arthur Goldman in ‘Stars of David’ wrote about the game.“Certainly the technicalities of the game as expounded by radio commentator CK Friedlander were too much for her (Mamma Geffin, Okey’s Mother). At one stage, when the radio man remarked (just as Geffin was hitching up his shorts for the kick which would give the Springboks a 12-11 lead), ‘Poor Geffin, he is a front ranker and he must be very, very tired,’ it was all too much for her. Mamma burst into tears.”

Some years ago Arthur Goldstuck and William Ramwell compiled ‘Money Talks But Mine Just Says Goodbye. More Bumper Stickers from the Information Highway’. Arthur sent me a copy inscribed as follows: “Dear Willie, Many thanks for all the honourable mentions. I thought it was time I replenished your supply! Your friend in fun, Arthur Goldstuck”Here is a batch of quotes from the section headed ‘Marriage’:
Man in love with dimple makes mistake marrying whole girl.
Marriage: A way of remaining informed of all your faults.
More husbands would leave home if they knew how to pack.
My wife divorced me because of illness. She got sick of me.
Never marry for money; you can always borrow it cheaper.
Outlaw marriage and only outlaws will have in-laws.
Every bride has to learn it’s not her wedding but her mother’s.

As a bonus here are some more quotes from a chapter headed ‘Pedestrian: Someone who found a place to park’
Egotist: Someone who is always me-deep in conversation.
Mistake: Something a virgin and a parachutist can only make once.
Mummy: An Egyptian pressed for time.
Neurotic: Self-taut person.
Optimist: Someone who doesn’t know all the facts yet.
Procrastinator: A person with a wait problem.


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