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Cabbages & Kings: Let the nation building begin

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By this evening, who will really care much about the in-fighting between The Sunday Times and our Minister of Health. Or about who has developed the fastest processor – AMD or Intel. Or who is talking to who about mega mergers and acquisitions. 

It’s Rugby World Cup kick-off day and for the next few weeks national interest will be focused on France and whether or not the Springboks will be able to recapture the glory of 1995.
And let’s not forget the "bikini cricket" that gets underway next week – the first "World Cup" Twenty20 tournament that seems destined to provide spectacular entertainment.
But it is the Springbok team that will hold centre stage for the next few weeks. Besides carrying the winning hopes of a fanatical following of dyed-in-the-wool rugby fans drawn from the ranks of a largely white, male minority throughout the country, the men in "Green and Gold" were vaulted into a critical role of nation-building when President Mbeki hosted them at a farewell function before their departure for France.
His advice to forget about the "politics" and bring back the trophy for the benefit of the nation came as a stark reminder of the immeasurable contribution made by the 1995 Springboks to nation-building and unity on that day at Ellis Park.
Supported by the greatest living statesman of our time, the "class of 95" are still dining out on the fame generated when Madiba stepped out in his Springbok jersey to hand over the trophy – a moment in our brief history of democracy that captured the hearts and minds of what Francios Pienaar so eloquently described as 45-million fans.
It’s time to recapture that spirit and President Mbeki seized the opportunity to motivate it. Let’s hope our Springboks deliver nothing less.
– David Bryant