The Long Drop

Sports, courts and afterthoughts
Posted: November 16th, 2009 | By David Isaacson

The man who reckons he sang beautifully

The man who reckons he sang beautifully

There is no doubt that Ras Dumisani butchered the South African anthem, Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika.

But let’s face it, it’s not the first time the South African anthem has been messed up. When Johnny du Plooy challenged Francesco Damiani for the newly created WBO heavyweight title in Sicily in 1989, organisers played God Save The Queen instead of Die Stem.

Du Plooy was stopped early in the bout, although that may also have had something to do with his unSpartan-like training methods.

But the worst, for me, was the Loftus Versfeld crowd before the second Test against Sean Fitzpatrick’s touring All Blacks in 1996. Trailing 0-1 in the series, the Boks needed to win to avoid becoming the only Bok team to lose a home series to New Zealand.

Singing the anthem, the Loftus crowd deviated from the official verse. When they started singing Die Stem, they didn’t stop – even after the music had finished playing on the PA system. They sang the whole version of the old apartheid anthem on their own.

Perhaps my interpretation was wrong, but I viewed it as coming from people who, at that stage anyway, opposed change and still liked to waved the old SA flag.

A large portion of Loftus stood defiant that day – it was a nauseating moment.

It turned out to be an historical day, however. The Boks lost the match and the series.





November 18, 2009 at 6:29 pm

Two wongs does not make it suddenly right!!!

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