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South Africans have today taken to social media to celebrate the 18th anniversary of the country’s 1995 Rugby World Cup win as former president Nelson Mandela’s condition took a turn for the worse.
Late last night, the office of the presidency issued a statement noting that the ailing statesman’s condition had deteriorated from “serious but stable” to “critical”. According to the statement, “President Jacob Zuma, accompanied by ANC Deputy President, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, visited the former President this evening, 23 June in hospital. They were briefed by the medical team who informed them that the former President’s condition had become critical over the past 24 hours”.
Mandela was rushed to hospital on 8 June for treatment on recurring lung infection, something which had plagued him since his days as a political prisoner on Robben Island. Until now, the official line has been that he was improving, but a report from US news agency CBS suggested that he had been unresponsive for days and that his family was considering halting treatment.
Small wonder then that the man affectionately known by his clan name “Madiba” has weighed heavily on the minds of those remembering South Africa’s 1995 World Cup triumph.
A very excited 8 year old boy found his first heroes in Nelson Mandela and Francois Pienaar on this day in '95, and I won't forget it.
— Stuart Buchanan (@StuBuSA) June 24, 2013
— Tara Hossack (@tarahossack) June 24, 2013
This great cartoon by Tinus Horn captures the exaltation of that Invictus moment, 18 years ago. http://t.co/s44xMYX6BH
— Gus Silber (@gussilber) June 24, 2013
— Timothy Moloi (@TimothyMoloi) June 24, 2013
— kuben pillay (@KubenPrime) June 24, 2013
18 years ago Mandela (with top button done up, I vividly remember) handed the rugby world cup to Springbok capitan Francois Pienaar at Ellis
— Andrew Beatty (@AndrewBeatty) June 24, 2013
— Dan Moyane (@danmoyane) June 24, 2013
Me too 🙂 RT @helendaws: Nice memory to start a Monday with; boks won World Cup today, 18 yrs ago. I was in Std 7.
— Amanda Sevasti (@AmandaSevasti) June 24, 2013