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ANC mourns passing of Joost Van Der Westhuizen

6 February 2017

It is with deep sadness that the ANC has learnt of the passing of Joost van der Westhuizen today after a long illness.

Van der Westhuizen made his debut as a rugby player in 1993 at the age of 24 and he played rugby representing South Africa for 10 years, notching up a record 38 tries from 89 caps before retiring.

We remember Joost as being an integral part of the team that gave South Africa one of its most iconic moments in sporting history the 1995 Rugby World Cup - a sporting event of huge political significance for South Africa.

It was at this Rugby World Cup that South Africa's first democratically elected President Cde Nelson Mandela wore the Springbok jersey and lifted the trophy, a powerful moment that signified our commitment to social cohesion and nation building.

In 2012, Joost van der Westhuizen was honored with a Steve Tshwete Lifetime Achievement Award. To date, he still holds the record of being the scrumhalf with the most tries scored in Test rugby.

We thank Joost, his family and his foundation for his immense contribution to nation building both through his sporting excellence and his charity work.

Our deepest condolences go to the van der Westhuizen family, Joost's friends, and the sporting fraternity at large.

May his soul Rest In Peace

Issued by the African National Congress Enquiries Zizi Kodwa 082 330 4910 National Spokesperson Khusela Sangoni National Communications Manager