Cape Town - A massive wave of green and gold swept through the streets of Cape Town on Friday as the Springboks held their victory parade following their impressive Rugby World Cup triumph.
The four-time Rugby World Cup champions toured the streets of the Mother City hoisting the illustrious Webb Ellis Cup after beating New Zealand 12-11 in France last Saturday.
The Springboks kicked off their trophy tour on Thursday when they met with President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
However, on Friday was Cape Town’s turn to show the Springboks some love after their back-to-back victories in the World Cup.
Siya Kolisi and his teammates were welcomed by hundreds of Bok supporters in front of the City Hall who were eagerly awaiting their arrival.
However, as the Springboks showed in their last three matches of the World Cup finals the team loves to leave it late.
The winners took to the stage after the crowd was entertained with a mini-concert from wellknown personalities like DJ Ready D, Bravo Le Roux, Fancy Galada, Mujahid George, Amy Jones and the legendary PJ Powers who serenaded the crowd with her famous World in Union song.
The proceedings kicked off with a moment of silence for Andre van Wyk, a well-known Springbok supporter from Macassar who died of a suspected heart attack moments after captain Siya Kolisi had lifted the trophy.
According to Kolisi, Cape Town has always shown the Springboks unconditional love, no matter what.
“Thank you for standing united behind us. That drives us as a team too. We just want to encourage you to continue to believe in us and to look like you look today, united,” Kolisi told the crowd.
Wing Cheslin Kolbe added: “Ons is rerig trots om terug te wees. Dankie dat julle uitgekom het (We’re really proud to be back. Thanks to everyone for coming out). Let’s stand together and pray together. Merci.”
On stage, Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis described the Springboks’ achievement as a true inspiration for the nation.
“Not just for the sport but for the country, our whole country can be the best. You showed us integrity, respect, honour, destiny and passion, all the values that will make our country successful. Cape Town loves you,” Hill-Lewis said.
Following the formalities, it was time for the Springboks to show off their gold through the streets of Cape Town.
Hundreds of supporters gathered along Darling, Wale, Long and several other streets in the CBD to see the World Cup heroes.
People were standing on rooftops, in trees and some were even standing on the roof of their vehicles.
“Hier kom die Bokke, hier kom die Bokke” echoed through the streets of the CBD.
Springbok fullback Damian Willemse, who has been trending on social media for his ‘celebrations’ following their victory, told the Weekend Argus that they gave it their all in France.
“I’m happy that we won and you could see what it means to us as a team and a nation. You could see how the guys played until the final whistle,” Willemse said.
Mitchells Plain resident Nicodemus Steemag said it was a proud moment for him to catch a glimpse of the World Cup winners.
“It was a huge honour for me to see the boys. I watched all of their games throughout the tournament. They made me believe that if we stand together, we can overcome and achieve anything in this world,” he said.
One Bok supporter in Wale Street had hiked from Pretoria to see his beloved team parade through the streets.
Bilitjie Ashton said: “It is an honour for me. There are my guys on the bus. I came all the way, I hiked to Cape Town, because this is a moment-of-a-lifetime opportunity to see them.”
Hundreds of Capetonians also gathered on the side of the N2 as the bus made its way to Langa and Bonteheuwel.
In Langa, the Springboks received a hero’s welcome as the bus entered Bunga Avenue, where it travelled through Briton Street, Jungle Walk, Langalibalele Drive and Jakes Gerwel Drive.
Resident Lisiwe Gomba said it was a perfect moment to celebrate Bokke and Langa, which also celebrated a century of existence.
“Langa is the best township to celebrate 100 years with the presence of the Springboks in the area,” she said.
On the other side of Jakes Gerwel Drive, Bonteheuwel residents welcomed the Springboks on Jakkalsvlei Avenue with full cheer and praise.
Ward councillor Angus McKenzie added that the attitude of the Springboks was the same attitude that united the community.
“Against all odds, we have become safer, better, and it is great to have the Springboks here so that they can see the influence they have on Bonteheuwel.”