Nelson Mandela’s former private secretary Zelda la Grange accompanied the Springboks when they visited Robben Island on Wednesday.

Coach Rassie Erasmus, his management and players were given and extensive tour of the famous World Heritage Site by Itumeleng Makwela, a former inmate, which included a visit to the prison cell of the late Mandela, where he was held as a political prisoner for 18 years.

Captain Siya Kolisi, the first black captain of the Springboks, described he visit to Robben Island as an inspirational and emotional occasion.

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“It was very inspiring and humbling to listen to the story of Mr Mandela and his fellow political prisoners. As a group, we felt very privileged to have made the journey across to Robben Island,” said Kolisi.

Morongoa Ramaboa, spokesperson for the Robben Island Museum, said it was an honour to welcome the Springboks: “For us, the museum is a representation of the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. The Boks are our icons of inspiration and we hope they will be triumphant on Saturday.”

The Springboks beat England in the first two Tests of their three-match series. The final Test takes place at Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday.

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