SA welcomed back into the international community
Nineteen ninety-five is a year of great optimism for South Africa. Political violence abates, and the country is welcomed back into the international community. Human rights and righting past wrongs also feature strongly: the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg, the country’s newly established highest court, abolishes the death penalty, and President Nelson Mandela appoints Archbishop Desmond Tutu to head the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
The event that captivates the country is the Rugby World Cup. New Zealand and South Africa, both unbeaten, meet in the final at Johannesburg’s Ellis Park Stadium. It is a nail-biting affair, but the Springboks triumph in the dying seconds of extra time when flyhalf Joel Stransky kicks a drop goal. Mandela, ever the master of reconciliation, wears the jersey of beloved Bok captain Francois Pienaar as he presents the team with the William Webb Ellis Trophy. At St Mary’s, the girls wear the Springbok jersey every Friday in a wave of solidarity and a bubble of optimism.
Perhaps for the first time, South Africans celebrate as a single nation.