Bringing out the sun for Nelson – the delegation for Mandela Key should have taken



I’d encourage everyone to try to get to this memorial event for Nelson Mandela.

It’s on at Rugby Park in Hamilton this Sunday evening at 8.30pm – bring a candle.

The time and place are very significant because it was events on 25 July 1981 on the field at Rugby Park Hamilton which brought such joy and jubilation to Nelson Mandela who by that time had spent 17 years in prison on Robben Island.

As we all now know when Mandela heard that this Springboks Versus Waikato rugby game (the first ever televised live to South Africa) had been stopped by anti-apartheid protestors invading the field he said the prisoners gripped the bars of their cell doors and rattled them around the prison in sheer delight. He said it was like the sun came out.

The timing of the event is to coincide with the burial of Mandela in his home town of Qunu.

There will be an opportunity for those who wish to say a few words as part of this event.

Discussion is underway for authorised access to the ground rather than the unauthorised access in 1981…

TDB Recommends

See you there!

The facebook link to the event is here.


  1. In an act of graciousness, and decency that would have been admired by Nelson Mandela, David Cunliffe offers his place to Pita Sharples.

    In the same spirit Pita Sharples now needs to offer his place to Hone Harawira. Harawira was in the front lines in the protests against apartheid and actually stood on the field at Hamilton in defiance of the New Zealand police, the New Zealand government, and the Apartheid Regime. And who with the others there with him, gave comfort to Nelson Mandela in his prison cell when no-one else could.

    Harawira is the person who should be rightfully standing beside John Key.

    Will Sharples act with the same grace as Cunliffe?

    David Cunliffe said it was important that a New Zealand Maori is represented and Dr Sharples did a lot of work in the anti-apartheid movement.

    Those of us who were in the anti-apartheid movement know who did the Mahi and those who didn’t. Pita Sharples now needs to search his conscience. As should John Key.

    Hone represents the protesters and the spirit of protest and defiance more than Pita who is closely linked to the National government. The government of the party which supported apartheid sporting and trade links.

  2. “Angola! Mozambique! Zimbabwe! Azania!”

    Herbs live 1981:

    ‘Azania’ is an impassioned anti-apartheid song written for the Auckland reggae band by law student Ross France. Led by original Herbs vocalist Toni Fonoti, it helped to establish the band’s political credentials at a time when New Zealand was split by the 1981 Springbok Tour. Azania was the name given to a post-revolutionary South Africa by the Pan African Congress. There are name checks for black African leaders Steve Biko and Nelson Mandela; and the chant “Angola! Mozambique! Zimbabwe! Azania!” was quickly incorporated into anti-tour protest marches.

  3. Herbs remix 2008:

    What you say? What you say?
    What you say?

    We’ve seen through all your lies
    Hiding your evil system under multiracial disguise
    White racist’s only power
    Is through the barrel of the gun
    To come the liberation was to send racists on the run

    Come soon Azania!
    Power to the freedom fighters

    Liberation soon come

    Power to the brothers and sisters

    Send racists on the run

    What you say? What you say?
    What you say?

    Steve Biko!
    Murdered in your jail
    While spreading the word to all black men
    You win when you know you can

    Nelson Mandela!
    Nelson Mandela, oh, you can’t put him down
    No you can’t, put him down

    So come Pretoria!
    Bow to the freedom fighters

    Liberation soon come

    Power to the brothers and sisters

    Send racists on the run

    What you say? What you say?
    What you say?

    What you say? What you say?
    What you say?

    Angola! Mozambique! Zimbabwe! Azania!

    Angola! Mozambique! Zimbabwe! Azania!

    Angola! Mozambique! Zimbabwe! Azania!

    Angola! Mozambique! Zimbabwe! Azania!

    Angola! Mozambique! Zimbabwe! Azania!

    Angola! Mozambique! Zimbabwe! Azania!


    • Hi Jenny. Had this playing the day the news came through – along with a few other tunes we used at meetings and marches in the Deep South. Still have the vinyl. Remember well the comment made to me when I asked the owner of the record store in Invercargill if he had a copy – “Might have. It’s only the blacks in Porirua that are interested in that stuff”. Gives you an idea of the “fun” the anti apartheid movement had down there!! Also appropriate at the time of Mandela’s passing that we remember those who lost their lives by the hand of that fascist, racist regime.

  4. All right and justified, but let us move on, I try to present some past and not so past moments, that may have nothing directly to do with those days and the protests. I suggest it goes wider and deeper, and that is where I come from. I meet too many narrow minded and others who do not even know what “the tour” stood for. So bear this in mind. We need to reach wider than this, this is deserved history and so, but more pressing stuff is happening:

  5. “Talked Out Of It”

    The Southland Times. Editorial:

    The Government has made a weak, mean-spirited decision not to include a representative from the 1981 Springbok tour protesters to help represent New Zealand at Nelson Mandela’s funeral…..

    …..Instead of finding room for just one member from their ranks, we have a boutique delegation who hazarded nothing much during that time.

    Note the weasely passive language that Prime Minister John Key uses. “The decision was made” that the grouping was the right one, he says. Not a lot of accountability in that phrase, which in fact he made after consulting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade….

    …..And what of Opposition Leader David Cunliffe? As he sees it, he’s representing Minto et al. Except he isn’t, really. He’s representing the worst sort of tokenistic political expedience.

    Mr Cunliffe also says that he doesn’t want to be political about it – which is something politicians generally say when they’re about to be passive-aggressively political – but if he had been PM then, gee, he would have found room for one of the protesters. He even thought about giving up his seat for Mr Minto, but “was talked out of it”. More anonymous persuasion, you’ll notice. Persuaded by whom? On what grounds?

    “Talked out of it”

    “By whom?”

    And “on what grounds?”

    These are good questions

    And go right to the heart of how our democracy works.

    Who are these anonymous behind the scenes players that influence our elected leaders?

    “Elected Leaders”, the last two words of that sentence should give you a clue as to what we expect of them. Lead. Who gave them the right on getting into office to become followers.

    If they are not the leaders, then who are those, really giving the lead. They should be identified, and asked what their mandate is. And, Who gave it to you? And how did you get it?

    What right have you to be telling our politicians what to do?

    If our government can be talked out such things like this, what else can they be talked out of?

    Why, no matter who we elect, do we still get the same policies?

    No wonder that despite governing in the age of climate change, both Labour and National still support deep sea oil. And massive expansion in coal mining, and can’t seem able to change this ship around, though they all agree we should.

    It is well past the time our leaders grew a spine. The world demands it.

    It is well past the time that our leaders stood on principal and stopped letting themselves be persuaded by anonymous hidden players.

    John Key and David Cunliffe need to name these hidden persuaders.

    I would like to know, who the person inside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade who persuaded the Prime Minister? They need to declare themselves. Who are you? And; What are your motives? What is the rationalisation behind your decision? Who do you get your advice from? Who are they linked too? What were their grounds for making their decisions?

    Let us hear from the real decision makers, for once.

    And the Leader of the Opposition; Are you really such a spineless jelly fish? Is that what you were promoted over your predecessor for?

    Is this what we can expect if we elect you and your party to lead this country?

    On the occasion of Nelson Mandela’s death. Let this be a salutary lesson for all of us.

    Democracy is more than just voting every three years, it is about becoming involved it is about, being on the right side of history it is about standing up to pressure, it is about doing the right thing even sometimes when finding yourself in a beleagured minority, it is about finding your hidden voice and listening to it, it is about trusting your instincts and standing up for what you feel is right. Right or Wrong you will you will be honest to your self. You may feel reviled and put upon and besieged for standing up for what you believe is right. You may even suffer because of it. But in the end you will be judged by history.

    This is the positive message left to us by the life of Nelson Mandela. This is also the salutary message hidden in this (hopefully, soon to be forgotten), sorry sordid drama played out around his funeral.

    Rest in Peace Madiba

  6. Who is he?

    We in New Zealand know him, but John Key’s name would have become known by the world if he had had the vision and the integrity to have one of this country’s anti-apartheid leaders accompany him on our country’s official delegation.

    Unfortunately it was not to be. And on the world stage, and at this country’s expense, John Key has exposed himself as an unforgiving mean spirited nobody. The very opposite of what Nelson Mandela stood for.

    If there is one lesson we should all take from Nelson Mandela’s life it is that greatness does not come from taking the easy path.

    John Key decided to take the easy conventional path and it has come back to bite him. Too bad.

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