South Africa celebrates rugby world cup win over England

By BBC On Sat, 2 Nov, 2019 15:25 | 2 mins read
South Africans have been celebrating after their rugby team beat England in the world cup final in Japan. [PHOTO | COURTESY]
South Africans have been celebrating after their rugby team beat England in the world cup final in Japan. [PHOTO | COURTESY]
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    South Africans have been celebrating after their rugby team beat England in the world cup final in Japan.

South Africans have been celebrating after their rugby team beat England in the world cup final in Japan.

The victory under Siya Kolisi, the team’s first black captain, was another symbolic moment for the Springboks.

In 1995, former President Nelson Mandela’s famously celebrated on the podium with captain Francois Pienaar after their world cup win.

This is the third time that the Springboks have won the trophy equalling New Zealand’s record.

At the final whistle, fans at a public viewing centre in South Africa’s main city Johannesburg were chanting Kolisi’s name, the BBC’s Milton Nkosi reports.

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was in Japan for the final, tweeted: “We are the champions.”

The victory is not just about rugby, but it is also about the social cohesion that South Africa is still trying to achieve, a quarter of a century after the end of apartheid, our correspondent says.

“We are so grateful to the people of South Africa,” Kolisi said after the match.

“We have so many problems in our country. [The team] come from different backgrounds and different races and we came together with one goal and we wanted to achieve it.

“I really hope we’ve done that for South Africa, to show that we can pull together if want to achieve something.”

‘Not just a win on the pitch’

People have been screaming chanting and singing, bringing back the spirit of 1995 when South Africa won the world cup for the very first time. And today, they are chanting captain Siya Kolisi’s name.

There will be celebrations here long into the night – across townships, cities and villages – because this win is not just on the pitch, it is not just about rugby. It is about the social cohesion that the country is still trying to achieve 25 years after the end of apartheid.

This brings the whole nation together particularly in light of the sluggish economy, the unemployment rate is nearly 30%, and corruption has also become a high profile problem. But the victory will lift people’s spirits and allow them for one day to forget their ills.

Fans rejoice across the country

South Africans have been tweeting their reaction. One fan, in Johannesburg, can be heard screaming with joy above the sound of vuvuzelas, or horns, being played in the neighbourhood.