Invictus (2009) Script

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Holding. Holding. Ready?

Yeah, let's go. Up, up, up. Come on, boys, tackle, tackle.

Good work, boys. Keep it up. Good work.

Mandela! Mandela!

Mandela! Mandela! Mandela!

Who is it, sir?

It is that terrorist, Mandela. They let him out.

Remember this day, boys.

This is the day our country went to the dogs.

Come. Let's go. Come.

I am now in a position to announce that Mr. Nelson Mandela will be released... at the Victor Verster Prison... on Sunday, the 11th of February, at about 3 p.m.

There's Mr. Nelson Mandela.

Mr. Mandela, a free man... taking his first steps into a new South Africa.

This is the moment the world has been waiting for.

And the top news of the day here in South Africa and around the world.

The recent release of Nelson Mandela from prison... has triggered a power struggle between the ANC and their black rivals.

There are reports that the government has been secretly providing arms... to these groups, contributing to the violence... that has erupted throughout the country.

South Africa appears to be on the verge of a civil war.

Mr. Mandela has traveled to Durban... in an effort to persuade 100,000 angry young ANC supporters on the frontline... to make peace.

Take your knives and your guns and your pangas... and throw them into the sea.

After four years of talks, the day black South Africans... have been fighting for has finally arrived.

For the first time, they are free to cast their vote alongside whites.

An estimated 23 million people went to the polls today.

I, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela... do hereby swear to be faithful to the Republic of South Africa.

Never, never and never again shall it be... that this beautiful land will again... experience the oppression of one by another... and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world.


Here he is. Like clockwork.

That makes him such an easy target.

Yes, good morning.

How are you?

Us is sharp, Madiba. Good.

Linga, how's your mother? She's much better. Thanks.

Good, very good.

Linga, watch your left.

Madiba. Madiba.

It's all right.

What does it say?

It says, "He can win an election, but can he run a country?"

Not even one day on the job and they are after you.

It's a legitimate question.

Today marks the beginning of a new era in South Africa... as President Mandela takes office in Pretoria.

Facing issues that range from economic stagnation and unemployment... to rising crime, while at the same time... balancing black aspirations with white fears.

I never thought I'd see the day. I feel sorry for you, son.

You got your whole life ahead of you. What's it gonna be like now?

Don't be so gloomy. Yeah.

Now, I added vitamins. There's a horrible flu bug going around.

You tell Nerine when you get home, eh? Thanks, Mom.

Now, I'm telling you, François.

Look at Angola, look at Mozambique, look at Zimbabwe.

We're next.

They're gonna take our jobs and they're gonna drive us into the sea.

Just you wait.

Good morning.

Good morning. Good morning.

Good morning, everyone. Good morning.

Brenda, you've had your hair done. I like it.

Thank you, Madiba.

Yeah, we need to talk about your cabinet appointments and ministers.

Give me one moment, please. Yes, Madiba.

After you, Comrade President. Thank you, sir.

Office of the president, good morning.


Please assemble all the staff for me. All those who haven't already left.

Right now? All of them?

Yes, please. Yes, Madiba.

Ladies and gentlemen, if you would like to follow me, please.

The president would like to speak with you.

Here he comes. Yeah.

He wants the satisfaction of firing us himself.

I'd like you to stay out here. Yes, but, Madiba...

I cannot talk to them hiding behind men with guns.

Good morning. Good morning.

Good morning.

How are you this morning? Fine.

It's good to see you.

Thank you for coming on such short notice.

Some of you may know who I am.

I could not help noticing the empty offices... as I came to work this morning... and all of the packing boxes.

Now, of course, if you want to leave, that is your right.

And if you feel in your heart that you cannot work with your new government... then it is better that you do leave.

Right away.

But if you are packing up because you fear... that your language or the color of your skin... or who you worked for before disqualifies you from working here...

I am here to tell you, have no such fear.

What is verby is verby.

The past is the past.

We look to the future now.

We need your help.

We want your help.

If you would like to stay... you would be doing your country a great service.

All I ask is that you do your work to the best of your abilities... and with good heart.

I promise to do the same.

If we can manage that, our country will be a shining light in the world.

Thank you.

Is it still morning? Yeah.

When you get a chance, can we get the schedule for the month?

Yeah. We need to plan security.

Office of the president, good morning.

Yes, sir. Will do, we'll have that ready for you.

We need more men.

Did you talk to Brenda about it?

Yes. Yesterday.

Ah. That must be Jessie with the schedule.

Come in, beautiful.

What's this?

Mr. Jason Tshabalala?

That's me. Am I under arrest?

Captain Feyder and team, reporting for duty, sir.

What duty?

We're the presidential bodyguard. We've been assigned to this office.

Here are our orders.

You're Special Branch, right?

You'll see that they've been signed.

Well, I don't care if they are signed...

Just wait here.

Sorry to disturb you, sir.

You look agitated, Jason.

That's because there are four Special Branch cops in my office.

Oh, what did you do? Nothing.

They say they are presidential bodyguards and they have orders signed by you.

Ah, yes. Ah, yes. Well, these men are special trained by SAS.

They have lots of experience. They protected de Klerk.

Yes, but it doesn't mean that they have to... You asked for more men, didn't you?

Yes, sir, I asked... When people see me in public... they see my bodyguards.

You represent me directly.

The rainbow nation starts here.

Reconciliation starts here. Reconciliation, sir?

Yes, reconciliation, Jason.

Comrade President, not long ago, these guys tried to kill us.

Maybe even these four guys in my office tried and often succeeded.

Yes, I know.

Forgiveness starts here too.

Forgiveness liberates the soul.

It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.

Please, Jason. Try.

Sorry to disturb you, sir.

Just a minute.

Two copies of the schedule.

Thank you, Jessie.

Jason, can we get rid of these guys now?

This is the schedule for the month.

Let's look them over for assignments.

Right. What?

Hey, Jason. I need to talk to you.

How can we trust them?

We can't. That's what Madiba wants, okay? Let's go.

Are there any special orders or conditions?

No. Oh, yes.

Madiba doesn't like it if you don't smile when you push people away.


Yes, seriously. It's the new South Africa.


That's the president's clan name.

That's what we call him.

We'll call him Mr. President.

Can we go through the schedule now?

Can you gentlemen come closer?

How's he going to do all this? When does he take a break?

He says he rested enough in prison.

Here's a headache. What?

The rugby match.

England against Springboks, Loftus Stadium.

Gonna be a headache for England, that's for sure. We're gonna donner them.

I don't care about the game. All I care about... is that the president will be exposed. To a thousand drunken boys.

Sports fans?

Yes. Sports fans.

Who didn't vote for him. Who probably hate him.

Who came out of the womb with guns in their hands.


Let's welcome captain François Pienaar... and the South African Springboks here in Pretoria.

Today's referee is Colin Hawke from New Zealand.

Bokke! Bokke! Bokke!

Okay, guys.

I want your eyes on the crowd at all times. You're staying in the middle of the field.

You're gonna walk in, shake hands, and walk back and that's it.

You got it? Yup.

Okay, let's go.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is our pleasure to have with us today... at Loftus Versfeld, our newly elected president...

Mr. Nelson Mandela.


Well, good luck, captain.

Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you.

Good luck, son. Thank you very much.

Good luck. Thank you.

Good luck, Chester. Yes, sir.

Good luck. Thank you.


- Stop him. No, stay with him.

Thank you for honoring our new flag. It's a pleasure, sir.

Thank you.

How are you? How are you?

Good to see you. Good to see you. Thank you. Thank you.

Madiba. Hi.

Madiba? Madiba? We're delaying the rugby, sir.

Oh, yes. Oh, yes, of course.

Why didn't you stop him? Well, you try next time.

Does he do that sort of thing all the time? Ask my ulcers.

Good thing it was just a cup. And good thing he never saw it.

Oh, he saw it. He sees everything.

I hate rugby.


With you, with you! Here, onside, onside!

Come on! Now, now, now!

Try, England.

For England, scored by Ben Clarke, Number 13.

England, 11, South Africa, 0.

Fuck, man.

These okes mean business. We need to focus.

Come, okes, we need to focus, focus!

Let's go, boys. Right, come on.

Conversion is good.

Why don't we do a little work while we watch?

We have a lot of promises to keep. Yes, we do.

Well, it's not too late, if the boys can just pick up their game.

If they don't, heads will roll.

Come on, you bloody bastards.

Where do you want to go first for foreign investment?

Where the money is.

America, England, Saudi Arabia.

How long before the World Cup?

About a year.

Well, it's time enough for improvement.

Mr. President.

Don't get your hopes up.

We're a damn disgrace.

England, 24, South Africa, 9.

Do you see all those old apartheid flags?

Hm. They're a disgrace.

It is also a constitutional right.

Along with the apartheid anthem, I know.

But it's time people moved on.

Look at this.

All of the whites are cheering for the Springboks.

All of the blacks are cheering for England.

We used to do that on the island, you know.

We would cheer for anyone but the Boks.

It made the warders very angry.

Of course it did.

- Sorry I'm late. How is it going? Number 10.

Very badly.

Maybe it's just as well.


I've just been at a meeting of the National Sports executive.

There's a strong support to drop the Springbok emblem and colors altogether.

If they play badly, maybe it's a good time to make a change.

This could be the last time we have to look at the green and gold.

Fuck, man. This is bullshit.

François Pienaar's team came to Loftus Versfeld Stadium this afternoon... unprepared and arrogant.

They left 80 minutes later... with their tails between their legs like whipped mongrels.

And I, for one, am glad.

Not because they lost, but because there is now no way... to ignore the fact that we are completely and utterly unprepared... to reenter the world of topnotch international rugby.

The Rugby World Cup is now less than a year away.

And I, for one, am relieved that we are the host nation... and therefore qualify automatically for the tournament.

- Somebody gets the ax. Because I am not sure...

- that we would get in on merit alone. Who's it gonna be?

Pienaar's team played without discipline... without strategy and without courage.

- And therefore... He's trying to get them to drop me.

He's just bitter because the Springboks were boycotted when he played.

Maybe. But people listen to what he says.

They brought shame upon our nation.

And I, for one, can say without fear of contradiction... that today, these 15... so-called men did not deserve to wear the hallowed green and gold.

Here's your muti, Madiba. I warmed the milk tonight.

Ah. You are too good to me, Mary.

Your daughter called to cancel her visit this weekend.

Did she say why?

No, she didn't. She said to tell you she was sorry.

I see.

Do you need anything else tonight?

No, Mary, thank you. I will go to bed.

Good evening, Dada.

Good evening, Mary.

Hello. There you go. God bless you.

Thank you.

Some nice pants for you. God bless you.

There you go.

There you go.

God bless you.

You're a very lucky boy. It's a real Springbok practice jersey.

I mean, I know it's a bit big, but it's warm and it'll last forever.

Huh? Come.

Go on, take it, it's yours.

Why won't he take it? If he wears it, the others will beat him up.

Because the Springboks are playing so badly?

No, because for them Springbok still represents apartheid.

And now for the next item on our agenda.

The NSC executive proposes a vote on the following motion:

That, as a permanent symbol of the apartheid era... the colors, emblem... and the name of the Springboks, be eliminated immediately.

And that all sports teams representing South Africa... shall be known forthwith... as the Proteas.

Now, comrades, we will submit this motion to a hand vote.

And in the event of a close count, we'll go to a written ballot.

All of those in favor of eliminating the Springboks, raise your hands.

- Viva, Proteas, viva! Viva!

Both units to their cars right now.

All right, let's go. Let's do it.

What do I tell the Japanese trade delegation?

I delegate that decision to you.

Do you want me to inform the VP? No.

We should at least include the minister of sport.


I strongly advise against doing this, especially on your own.

It gives the impression of autocratic leadership.

You risk alienating your cabinet and your party.

Your advice is duly noted.

Madiba. The people want this. They hate the Springboks.

They don't want to be represented by a team they cheered against.

Yes, I know. But in this instance, the people are wrong.

And as their elected leader, it is my job to show them that.

You're risking your political capital.

You're risking your future as our leader.

The day I am afraid to do that is the day I am no longer fit to lead.

At least risk it for something more important than rugby.

Tell the boys I want to go to Eersterust, very fast.

We, the executive, would like to applaud you for your diligence... and your courage.

Please join us in our anthem.

Comrades, comrades, members of the choir.

We would only interrupt such beautiful music for something truly important.

Please, welcome President Mandela.

Thank you.

Madiba. Welcome, Madiba.

Thank you. Mandela.

Mandela. Thank you.

I thank you. Please.


Brothers... sisters... comrades.

I am here because I believe you have made a decision... with insufficient information and foresight.

I am aware of your earlier vote.

I am aware that it was unanimous.

Nonetheless, I believe we should restore the Springboks.

Restore their name, their emblem... and their colors immediately.

Let me tell you why.

On Robben Island... in Pollsmoor Prison, all of my jailers were Afrikaners.

For 27 years...

I studied them.

I learned their language.

Read their books... their poetry.

I had to know my enemy... before I could prevail against him.

And we did prevail, did we not?

All of us here, we prevailed.

Our enemy is no longer the Afrikaner.

They are our fellow South Africans... our partners in democracy.

And they treasure Springbok rugby.

If we take that away, we lose them.

We prove that we are what they feared we would be.

We have to be better than that.

We have to surprise them... with the compassion... with restraint and generosity.

I know all of the things they denied us.

But this is no time to celebrate petty revenge.

This is the time to build our nation... using every single brick available to us.

Even if that brick comes wrapped in green and gold.

You elected me your leader.

Let me lead you now.

Who is with me on this?

Who is with me?

Twelve votes. Twelve.

A luxury. We only needed one more yes than no.

What if you hadn't got it?

Well, you know, that is the party's decision.

I'm sorry, Madiba, but we've got problems everywhere we look.

Housing, food, jobs, crime. Our currency.

You can't keep interrupting affairs of state to placate a minority.

But I must.

That minority still controls the police, the army and the economy.

If we lose them, we cannot address the other issues.

So this rugby is just a political calculation?

It is a human calculation.

If we take away what they cherish... the Springboks, their national anthem... we just reinforce the cycle of fear between us.

I will do what I must to stop that cycle.

Or it will destroy us.

42, South Africa, 20.

Beer tastes like shit, man.

It's not the beer.

Take another.

Everybody, take one.

Pass them around.

Right. I'd like to propose a toast.

To the taste of defeat.

Drink it.

Remember this, and promise yourself never to taste it again.

You're right, it tastes like shit.

Okay. Here's the schedule for the overseas trip.

Let me see.

What did he just say?

He asked when we were supposed to sleep.

As well as other basic human functions. Hey.

If Madiba can do it, we can do it.

In a common struggle... that has brought about our emancipation... and pushed back the frontier of racism... the millions of our people say thank you... and thank you again.

I come here with a message.

People of the United States of America... open your markets to us and come invest in our country.

And in Japan, President Mandela met with Japanese officials... as he concluded a grueling trip to the Far East.

And in related news, it was announced that President Mandela... will visit South Africa this week.

Stop it, old man.

Gee, it's cold, man.

Morning, Madiba. How are you?

Fine, thanks. Morning, sir.

How is your family, Hendrick?

Top shape, sir. How about yours?

I have a very large family.

Forty-two million.

I don't think I'll walk today.

We never, never ask him about his family. But he asks about ours.

Hey, think about it, man. He's separated from his wife, his children.

How often do you see them here, huh?

He's not a saint, okay? He's a man with a man's problems.

He doesn't need us reminding him about them.

Good morning, Madiba. Good morning.

Thank you very much. Enjoy it.


Very good.

Ah, Brenda, good morning. Good morning, Madiba.

I like that dress. Thank you.

This is for you. What is it?

Your paychecks. You haven't been collecting them.

What's wrong? This is terrible.

It's what de Klerk got, plus an increase for inflation.

Today President Mandela announced that, in his opinion...

- Thanks. his salary is too high.

Dead right. They're all overpaid.

He has, therefore, decided to donate a third of his monthly income to charity.

Give me the houses and cars they give him, I'll donate a third of my salary too.

You would not, not in a million years. Pienaar. Hello.

Hang on a moment, please.

Mandela says that he wishes to set an example...

- Yes. Of course. to other leaders and cabinet ministers.

- I thank you. Thank you. Fat chance.

They're lining their pockets as fast as they can.

Must be his girlfriend, eh, Nerine?

Oh, he knows I'll bloody well kill him.


Who was that?

Well... I told you it was his girlfriend.


I've been invited to tea.

With who? The president.

President of SA Rugby?

Count your fingers after he shakes your hand, boy.

The president.

He wants me over for tea, week after next.

Mr. François. You must tell Madiba that the bus service is very bad... and too expensive. He must do something about it.

Good night, everybody. Good night, Eunice.

Thank you.

What the hell does he want with you?

I don't know.

François, relax, you've met him before.

I shook his hand on the rugby field. And you didn't even vote.

Come on, Nooks, he's still the president.

I play rugby. What am I gonna say to the guy?

Say to him, "Thank you for inviting me."

What if I pull something stupid in front of him?

You won't. Okay, I'll pick you up right here.

Bye. There's François.

François, picture, please. François, can we get picture?

Yeah, okay. Over here, okay?

How's it? Can we have a comment?

See who's coming for tea?

Yeah, my nephew wanted me to get his autograph.

Who? François Pienaar.

Who wants to escort him in? I will.

Hey, no autographs, okay? I know how to do my job, okay?

Who's this François Pienaar?

You can't be serious. He's the captain of the Springboks.

I like soccer, myself.

Well, you know what they say about soccer.

It's a gentlemen's game played by hooligans.

On the other hand, rugby is a hooligan's game played by gentlemen.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I've heard that one before. It wasn't funny the first time.

Can I ask you a question, lieutenant? Yeah, of course.

What's he like?

When I worked for the previous president, it was my job to be invisible.

This president, well, he found out I liked English toffee... and he brought me some back from his visit in England.

To him, no one's invisible.

That's where you wait. One of his assistants will come for you.

And the bathroom's over there if you need it.

Okay. Thanks.

What are our chances in the World Cup? I mean, for real.

We'll do our best. That, I can guarantee.

Office of the president.

So, what is he like?

Well, he's not as big as he looks on TV.

And we don't stand a bloody chance in the World Cup.

Office of the president.

Mr. Pienaar. Right this way, please.

Yeah. Thank you.

Go on in.


What an honor.

I am so excited. Thank you for coming all this way to see me.

Yes, sir. Thank you for inviting me, Mr. President.

So, tell me, François, how is your ankle?

My ankle? I was told it was hurt. Has it healed?

The truth is, sir, you never really play at 100 percent, no matter what.

Yes. In sports as in life, eh?

Yes, sir. Please, sit.

Take this one. Looking into the light hurts my eyes.

Mrs. Brits. You are a shining light in my day.

Yes, sir.

Mrs. Brits, this is François Pienaar, captain of the Springboks.

Shall I pour, sir?

No, no. I would prefer to do it myself.

Thank you very much, Mrs. Brits.

How do you like your tea, François?

Just milk, please.

The English have given us many things... including rugby.

But afternoon tea, that is the greatest.

There we are.

Thank you, sir.

You have a very difficult job.

I do?

I have a trading business.

Captain of the Springboks.

A very difficult job.

Well, not compared to yours, Mr. President.

Well, no one is trying to tear my head off while I'm doing mine.

Yes, sir.

Tell me, François... what is your philosophy on leadership?

How do you inspire your team to do their best?

By example. I've always thought to lead by example, sir.

Well, that is right. That is exactly right.

But how to get them to be better than they think they can be?

That is very difficult, I find.

Inspiration, perhaps.

How do we inspire ourselves to greatness, when nothing less will do?

How do we inspire everyone around us?

I sometimes think it is by using the work of others.

On Robben Island... when things got very bad...

I found inspiration in a poem.

A poem? A Victorian poem.

Just words.

But they helped me to stand when all I wanted to do was to lie down.

But you didn't come all this way to hear an old man talk... about things that make no sense.

No, no, please, Mr. President. It makes complete sense to me.

On the day of a big match, say, a test... in the bus on the way to the stadium, nobody talks.

Yes. They're all preparing. Right.

But when I think we're ready, I have the bus driver put on a song.

Something I've chosen, one we all know.

And we listen to the words together.

And it helps.

I remember when I was invited to the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

Everybody in the stadium greeted me with a song.

At the time, the future... our future, seemed very bleak.

But to hear that song in the voices of people from all over our planet... made me proud to be South African.

It inspired me to come home and do better.

It allowed me to expect more of myself.

May I ask, what was the song, sir?

Well, it was "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika."

A very inspiring song.

We need inspiration, François.

Because in order to build our nation... we must all exceed our own expectations.

So, what's he like?

He's not like anyone I've ever met before.

Yeah, I hope. What did he want?

What did he talk about? Did he talk about rugby? What did he talk about?

François. It's like talking to a brick wall. What did he say?

I think he wants us to win the World Cup.

Excuse me.

What do you think?

It doesn't matter what I think. Yes, it does.


He looks like one of the policemen... who forced us out of our house when you were in jail.

I don't like seeing you shake his hand... and I'm not the only one.

You criticize without understanding.

You seek only to address your own personal feelings.

That is selfish thinking, Zindzi.

It does not serve the nation.

Zindzi, wait, please.

Zindzi, I...


Give this to your mother for me, please. What is it?

It's a bracelet I found unpacking.

Why don't you just throw it away?

I don't have the right, doesn't belong to me.

If she left it, she meant to throw it away.

Mrs. Pienaar said you were finished with the paper.

Yeah, yeah, of course.

Let's go. Go low. Yeah, that's it. Good boy.

There we go. Hit.

The World Cup is played every four years.

Sixteen teams qualify from around the world.

Four pools of four teams... each playing in nine different venues around the country.

Two teams will advance from each pool to the quarterfinals.

Ivory Coast qualifies. That's wonderful.

According to the experts, we'll reach the quarterfinals and no further.

According to the experts, you and I should still be in jail.

You make a personal appearance at the finals... and at the opening match between Australia and the Springboks.

The finals will be broadcast to over a billion people around the world, live.

A billion people watching us?

This is a great opportunity.

I reckon you've knocked the stuffing out of them today.

And now. Come on, boys.

I haven't even begun.

We may not be the most talented team in the world... but we're sure as hell going to be the fittest.

Let's go again, guys.

Come on, boys, nut up. Shit.

- Brenda. Yes, sir?

Please get the head of South African Rugby for me.

- Right away. Thank you.

Yep. One more.

Guys, listen up. Dr. Luyt just wants a few words, please.

Afternoon, men.

Good to see you all working so hard.

I have a short announcement.

As part of the PR buildup to the World Cup... you will be conducting coaching clinics in townships all over the country.

I know, I know. You have plenty on your plates already.

But this is a request from the top.

The very top.

Thank you.

This is complete crap, man.

What is this? What are we, some sort of circus act now?

We don't have time for shit like this. They expect us to play our best... to give our bloody all, then they add to our bloody workload.

What do you think about this, Chester?

Well, I try not to think because it interferes with my rugby.

You see? Now, there's a rugby player. Talk to them, cappie.

Make them understand. We don't have time for this.


Yeah. I'm not going to talk to them.

Why not?

Okes... we've become more than just a rugby team... and we might as well get used to it.

Is this you speaking or Mandela? Yeah, exactly.

You know me better than that.

You know, times change.

And we need to change as well.


Yeah. Glad I don't live here, eh?

Around there.

Don't forget, we've got cameras on us at all times.

What a bloody joke.

Chester! Chester! Chester!

Chester, I reckon you're up.

What am I supposed to do? What you do best.

Let rip.

Who wants to play rugby?

Who here knows the rules of rugby?

Me. What is it?

You hit another player when the ref is not looking.

No, no, no, the first rule of rugby... is you can only pass the ball backwards or sideways, all right? Shall we practice?

Yes. All right. Form a line.

Let's go, boys.

Ready? Okay, pass.

Keep your hands up.


Like this, like this. Pass it here. I'm here and I'm running like this:

I'm there.

Now... Now... Now you run.

There you go.

And then catch it like that. So I want you in groups of three, okay?

All right, one, two, three.

Bokke! Yes!

Bokke! Yes, yes, yes!

And in addition to the nationwide PR campaign... we propose that all retail outlets charge a nominal fee for plastic bags.

We believe that this will generate... Uh, excuse me.

Mr. Minister, if you will forgive me, this all sounds excellent... and we will return to it, but if you will indulge me for just one moment.

Well, soccer is usually their favorite sport here... but things changed today when a group of local kids really took to the Springboks... in a surprise visit where François Pienaar...

You see that? That picture is worth any number of speeches.

This is part of President Mandela's "one team, one country" campaign.

This is Johan de Villiers reporting live from Cape Town Airport... where the Springbok flight has just landed.

Thank you. The green and gold... have just one week... to put the finishing touches to their grueling training program.

And I, for one, must admit to being cautiously optimistic.

I say "cautiously" because in my humble opinion... this Springbok team has been over-practiced on the field... and overcommitted off it... which makes beating a powerhouse Australian side in next week's Cup opener... a tall order, especially as this is an inexperienced team... with a history of coming up short in big matches.

This is Johan de Villiers, live in Cape Town... returning you to the studio in Johannesburg.

- Thanks, Johan, for the update... Around the world, objectively... what are they saying about our chances to beat Australia?

Everyone thinks they'll beat us, and if they do... we'll have to go through England and the All Blacks just to get to the final.

So it is very important that we beat Australia?

Thank you.

Madiba? The cabinet ministers are here to brief you on the trip to Taiwan.

Oh, yes. I'll be right out.

Thank you, sir.

One week, boys.

We want snipers on top of the stadium and the surrounding buildings here.

No problem.

We want those two approaches completely sanitized.

Two approaches?

We're not gonna decide which way he comes in until the very last moment.

We want uniforms, plain-clothes, sharpshooters.

And sniffer dogs.

If you need more men, we have an army unit for you on standby at Silvermine.

We're not going to take chances, gentlemen.

The president is going to be exposed.

Much too exposed.


I have been studying.

For the summit in Taiwan? Good.

No. Not exactly.

Test me.

They look like thugs.

Block out their names. See if I can recognize them.

André Joubert. Gavin Johnson.

Did I get them right?

Yes, Madiba.

That's the way I used to study in law school.

Unfortunately, Chester is far too easy to identify.

But that will change. It must.

Team meeting after dinner.


Good luck, Springboks!

All right, gather around.

Pass them around. What's this, homework?

Yeah, yeah. A little.

Make sure everyone's got one.

What is this?

Right. We need to learn this song. We can't just mouth the words anymore.

Nobody cares as long as we're winning the matches.

You're wrong, they do care.

It's their bloody song, not ours.

Flipping terrorist song, man. They used to arrest you for singing it.

Right, and now it's one of our anthems.

I can't even read it or pronounce the words.

All right, okes, it's optional. Take it if you want to.

It means "God Bless Africa."

Which, you have to admit, we could use.

Tell us, Mr. President, have you always been a rugby fan?

People don't realize that I played rugby myself... when I was a student at Fort Hare.

It is a very rough game, almost as rough as politics.

How do you think the Springboks will do?

Oh, I think they will do very well.

Their level of commitment is tremendous.

Now, it's been said that you used to support any team... that played against the Springboks.

Yes, well, obviously that is no longer true.

I am 100 percent behind our boys.

After all, if I cannot change when circumstances demand it... how can I expect others to?

François. Welcome, Mr. President.


Forgive me for interrupting your work the day before such an important match.

But I just wanted to come and wish you good luck in person.

Sometimes, very seldom, as president, I am allowed to do what I want.

Mr. President. This is... Oh, I know who this is.

André. Good luck. Pleased to meet you. Thank you, sir.

Brendan. Good luck to you. Mr. President.

Gavin. Mr. President.

Good luck. James. Mr. President.

Good luck. Thank you.

Japie. Thanks, sir.

Good luck.

Did you ever imagine this? Good luck.

How could I?

It's an honor, sir. Thank you. Good luck.

Mr. President. Good luck.

Thank you.

Good luck to you. Thank you, sir.

Sir. Good luck.

Sir. Good luck, son.

Good luck.

Hennie, good luck. Sir.

But... where is Chester?

He's injured, sir. Hm?

His hamstring. We're trying to keep it quiet.

Well, will he be out for the entire tournament?

With hamstrings, who knows?

We'll miss him.

The whole country will miss him.

Well, gentlemen... Mr. President, sir.

Yes, Hennie? This is for you from us.

I am honored, gentlemen.

Truly honored.

And you must know that... your country supports you completely.

Good luck to you all.

Thank you, sir. François, walk with me.

I have something for you.

It has helped me through the years.

I hope it helps you.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Thank you.

It's time for bed, Dada.

I'm going to stay up a while. The country is excited tonight.

You need to sleep, the doctor said.

The doctor has no sense of occasion.

A good clearance from the base of the scrum.

A good result here today.

It's perfect conditions in front of a full house.

Strong tackle. Nice offload.


Thank you. Thank you, sir.

You know what's the best thing about you being the captain?

The honor? No.

You don't have to share a room.

No, no, no. I can't, I can't. Come on, François, it's been weeks.

I need to be angry. I know, it's working. I need to be angry tomorrow.

What's this?

A poem from the president.

How does a poem help you play rugby?

The same way your visit does. Inspiration.

Here we go!

Heads up! Heads up!

What happened? We scored.

Come on!

Try, Australia.


Number 10, Stransky.

Yes! Yes!

We won. We did?

Good, Dada.

Very good. It's beautiful, Dada.

Well, then, what do you say now? Well, that was fantastic.

You must be very happy.

Any man would be happy dancing with a beautiful lady like you.

Mr. President, you're exaggerating. Not at all.

My father was Xhosa, so he was a polygamist.

As you know, I am not.

But when I look at you, I envy my father.

Here's to Joel, he's so blue He's a drunkard through and through He's a bastard, so they say He tried to go to heaven But he went the other way Say one, two, three, four, hey!

Coach's run, 6 a.m.

What? Pass it on.

Coach's run, 6 a.m. You gotta be kidding me.

Six. Drink up. Nothing more for you then.

Joel, coach's run, 6. Six a.m.

Hey, guys. I hope you're not going to be this slow next week.

Hi, Nooks. Cappie, what's going on?

A change of pace. Come. You sneaky bugger.

Here you go. Come on, guys. Come.

They used to smuggle gravel in from the yard... throw it across the floor. They could hear the wardens coming.

Oh, wow.

Can we see the president's cell? Yes. Yes, of course.

Lord, can you believe this?

Now, the number on the door, 46664... means he was the 466th prisoner to be interned here in 1964.

We've done it up just the way it was.

Come with me.

Out of the night that covers me Black as the Pit from pole to pole I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of fate My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade

And yet the menace of the years Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate How charged with punishment the scroll I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul.

Over there.

Dada? Madiba?


What happened?

It's simple exhaustion, but it will lead to worse if it's not treated.

He needs a complete rest.

And I don't mean just simply shifting the affairs of the state to his bedroom.

No phone calls, no visitors, no meetings, no politics.

You know him, he won't do that.

Then I'm going to put him in isolation. Not yet. I'll threaten him with hospital... if he doesn't behave. I'll cancel everything.

And I'll come back tonight to make sure he's not working.

Don't cancel the trip to Taiwan, not yet.

Chester's back.

Okay, back to the line.

Try to South Africa scored by Chester Williams.

All right.

Fuck you, pussy.

Ball's trapped, green put-in.

Game over. Final score: South Africa, 42, Samoa, 14.

Bokke! Bokke! Bokke!

Madiba? Hm?

This is the delegation that you have been... Oh, I know who this is.

Welcome. Thank you for coming so far to see me.

Thank you. How do you do?

I'm fine. Welcome. Thank you very much.

Ladies and gentlemen, we apologize for the rain delay.

The semifinal match between South Africa and France will begin as soon as possible.

This is it, let's go. Let's go!

Expect it to grow faster than other sectors in the next few years.

Manufacturing accounts for 40...

To promote our international business alliances.

Strong industries have developed in shipping and computers.

Our information... Please, excuse me.

Yes, Mr. President, of course.

Gentlemen, let us continue in 10 minutes.

This is good, very good.

So who is our next opponent?

The All Blacks play England tomorrow. Then we'll know.

I see.

Well, you will make sure that my schedule is free for the entire match.

Oh, yes, Dada.

This is good. This is very good.


- Look at the power of that man. There he goes. Two.

- Cheers, mate. Beautiful try.

His All Black teammates come to congratulate the big fella yet again.

Lomu is becoming one of the most intimidating...

Why don't we do a little work while we're here?

Just enjoy the rugby.

World Cup semifinal against England.

Good clearance from the base of the scrum.

So let me understand this.

The All Blacks are killing a team that trashed us last year.

- Thanks for reminding me. Yes.

- And he is... We're gonna really have to tackle... a lot better than the English. Yeah. For sure.

We do. For sure, yeah.

That is Lomu's second try this afternoon.

This guy really likes scoring tries against the English...

Are those the judicial appointments for the Free States?

They'll keep until after the match.

There's the kick.

I am the president, you know.

And the conversion is good.

Are you watching this guy? He's about your size, but...

How much does this Lomu guy weigh? About 120 kilos.

Shit. It's the same as me.

Yeah, but you're slow.

Lomu looks for contact every time he gets the ball.

Yep. That's good for us.


I will break my arm, my leg, my neck, but I will not let that freaking guy go.

Me too, cappie. Me too.

With you, cappie. With you. All the way.

A lot of pushing in the lineup over there.

Players jostling for position.

Try to spin it when you pass it, yeah? Like this:

Yes. No.


You must fly in there.

Still think I'm wasting my time with the rugby?

- He's in the clear and he will go... Brenda.

Please tell the minister of sport...

I would like a full report on the All Blacks.

This rugby. Hm?

It's still strictly political?

Oh, yes. Oh, yes. Of course.

And over the try line as well.

Sweetheart. Hello.

Hello, Nerine. François.

Don't lose them, won't be able to get more. Thanks, François.

Me, Mum, Nerine.

Wait, there's a fourth.

Who's that for?

The All Blacks beat Ireland 43 to 19.

I see. They beat Wales 34 to 9.

I see. They beat Japan 145 to 17.

A hundred and forty-five points? In one match?

It's a new international record.

They beat Scotland 48 to 30 in the quarterfinals.

You saw the match with England. Yes.

Forty-five to 29, and it was not that close.

They seem unstoppable.

If the opposing team played them straight up, Jonah Lomu runs wild.

If they focus on Lomu, that leaves others free.

And also, there's the business of the haka.

A Maori war dance. Yes. It is very powerful.

My sources tell me that half of the All Black matches... are won before the first whistle because of it.

How can we beat them?

I have the coach's number. Maybe you could call him and ask.

No, no, I don't want to distract their focus, even for one minute.

But how can we win?

Maybe we won't. They're favored 2-to-1.

Madiba, we have already exceeded all expectations, on and off the field.

It's not enough. Not now. Not so close.

This country is hungry for greatness.

Brought one of your mum's protein shakes.

Thinking about tomorrow?


Tomorrow's taken care of, one way or another.

I was thinking about how you spend 30 years in a tiny cell... and come out ready to forgive the people who put you there.

Come on, man. There's nothing more you can do today.

Have I ever mentioned to you that I hate rugby?

Once or twice. Yes.

I just wanna get him through tomorrow safely, that's all.

We all do.

The tickets sold out long before the team became popular.

There's not exactly going to be the rainbow nation out there.

And that's the reality.

Now, all it takes is one idiot trying to make a statement... or one fool who thinks that he hears God speaking to him through the radio.

It has happened before, but not today.

Not on our watch and not today.

Flag face, 5 rand. Flag face. Oh, bugger off.

It's all right.

We are at Ellis Park on this historic day... where even this early, crowd expectation is at fever pitch... because their beloved green and gold... has somehow managed to defy all expectations.

But now, they come up against a team unlike any they have placed before.

These All Blacks are possibly one of the greatest international sides ever... with a player in Jonah Lomu... who is as dominant as any this correspondent has ever seen.


Madiba! Madiba!


Bokke! Bokke! Bokke!

Final approach, captain.

Let it be noted that I'm taking control of the aircraft.

Duly noted.

I take full responsibility for what happens from now on.

Do you see that jet to the east?

- They get clearance for this? Not from us.

Where is he?

VIP box.

Let's get him out of there now.

No time.

What the hell was that?

Bokke! Yes!

Come on.

Welcome to Ellis Park, Johannesburg... and the 1995 Rugby World Cup Final.

Please welcome the South African Springboks.

Bokke! Bokke! Bokke!

And the New Zealand All Blacks.

All Blacks! All Blacks! All Blacks!

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome... the president of the Republic of South Africa, Mr. Nelson Mandela.

Dr. Nelson Mandela, the president of South Africa... in the rugby jersey with a Number 6 on its back.

The All Blacks won't like that.

François, your country is very proud of you.

Thank you, sir.

Good luck. Thank you.

This is Ruben Kruger. Mr. President.

Hi. Good luck to you, son. Thank you.

Good luck to you, son.

The dignities out there with Dr. Mandela...


I want you to know that your whole country is supporting you.

Good luck. Thank you, sir.

Good luck, son.

What dramatic moments here at Ellis Park.

I don't think I've ever seen so many flags in one stadium.

Hi. Our captain.

An honor, sir.

Mr. President. Good luck.

Jonah. Good afternoon, sir.

Nice to see you. Thank you.

I'm a little afraid of you.

And that's big Jonah Lomu, a big day for him.

You all be careful now. Yeah.

Good luck.

Nelson! Nelson! Nelson!

Dr. Mandela just lifting his cap to the 62,000 people...


Wonderful aerial shot of Ellis Park Stadium.

A very emotional moment for both teams.

Ladies and gentlemen, the national anthem of South Africa.

South African national anthems.

What an unbelievable spectacular here in Johannesburg.

The match will now begin.

All right.

Perhaps we should make a little wager.

All your gold for all our sheep.

Well, I was thinking more along the lines of a case of wine.

The celebration's over.

We're now down to the big game and we await the haka of New Zealand.

Well, that's the challenge that's laid down by the Maoris before going into battle.

Outside, outside!

New Zealand with the best attacking side of the tournament.

This first 20 minutes will be absolutely critical.

South Africa has the weight advantage in the scrums... but I don't think many people have seen a weak New Zealand scrum.

Put it out!

South Africa had it in the maul and they should've played it.

Good interplay by New Zealand. Now, here's a chance for them.



Come, boys.

What the heck are we doing?

Lomu is culling us.

Forwards, we must start scrumming.

We must disrupt him at the first phase. Can't allow Lomu to get the ball in space.

He's freaking killing us.

But listen, if Lomu gets the ball, whoever's there...

James, Joost... hit the fucking guy, hold onto him, hold him.

Help will come, help will be there.

We can see that New Zealand were looking to try... and stretch the game to the left to Jonah Lomu, and give him some time and space.

Most of the opportunities have gone New Zealand's way.

Now, now, now!

Penalty. Carrying the ball.

That's the mark.

Captain. Posts.

Kick is good. Number 10, Andrew Mehrtens.

First blood to New Zealand.

Great all-around fly half is Andrew Mehrtens... born here in South Africa in Durban.

And now Stransky gets a kick that's every bit as important as the one that Mehrtens...

The kick is good. Number 10, Joel Stransky.

New Zealand to restart.

Penalty. Carrying the ball.


Such an important kick for New Zealand.

The penalty kick is converted. Andrew Mehrtens for New Zealand.

The score now: New Zealand, 6, South Africa, 3.

It's a great kick from Mehrtens. Thirteen minutes gone.

They're at 6 points to 3, New Zealand leads South Africa.

Release the ball. Come on.

About 21 minutes gone. Both teams, up on it, 6 points each.

Boks kick a goal for the lead for the first time in the match.

Last feet.

Stay. Stay.

Successful attempt for New Zealand.

Wide, wide!

Unsuccessful kick. The score remains 9-9.

That's the closing score, 9 points all.

And now there will be a five-minute break.

This is the first final in the history of the World Cup where we're having extra time.

Extra time.

So, what does this mean?

Extra time. Twenty minutes.

I don't think I can take it.

It'll be a test of great character in these last 20 minutes of this match.

Who's the fittest team on this field?

Outside, outside!

Crouch. Engage!



New Zealand, 12, South Africa, 9.

A great kick from Andrew Mehrtens.

Well, he certainly had length in reserve... because it was high, high above the crossbar...

Penalty against green.

Time off.

Five minutes, sir. François.

Too many guys off their feet at the rucks.

Okay. Speak to your team.

I'll talk to them. Speak to them. Yes.

Switch to Jonah Lomu.

Big man's been quiet in this match and that's credit to South Africa's...

Heads up.

Look in my eyes.

Do you hear?

Listen to your country.

Seven minutes.

Seven minutes. Defense, defense, defense.

This is it.

This is our destiny.

Come, Bokke! Come! Yeah!

Come on!

How long before the end?

Seven minutes. Seven minutes.

New Zealand leads by 12 points to 9.

This will be the longest seven minutes that those 15...

Spin, spin!

Yes! Yes, Bokke!

Stransky, this time, has got this kick of immense importance for his country.


Five minutes in extra playing time.

Now, now!

And that is the way one can get a big man coming...


And squeeze.


Has he got it?

With minutes remaining, South Africa takes the lead, 15 to 12.


Fifteen points to 12.

South Africa!

Ellis on the outside.

Great play here by Marc Ellis in reading the game, but he can't take...

South Africa will have go into the scrum...


They've won!

Yes! Yeah!


Chester, will you lead us in a prayer?

Thanks, Lord, for getting us into this final.

Thanks for no serious injuries.

And most of all, thanks for the win. Amen.


Good game.

Marvelous. Marvelous.

Good job.

François, a few words.

Great game.

But you couldn't have done it without the amazing support... of 63,000 South Africans here today.

Yeah. We didn't have the support of 60,000 South Africans.

We had the support of 43 million South Africans.

I want to thank you for what you have done for our country.

No, Mr. President, thank you for what you have done for our country.

Yeah, it's beautiful, it's beautiful, it's beautiful.

This route is crowded. Let's change to route C.


There's no hurry here. No hurry at all.

Madiba says there's no need to hurry.


It's good, it's good, it's good.

I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul.

I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul.