Minnie Dlamini had a weekend to remember when she served as flag bearer ahead of the Springboks’ match against Australia
However, the moment wasn’t just about her as she supported the children of the late James Small.
James represented the Springboks over the course of five years between 1992 and 1997, winning a Rugby World Cup in that time.
The former winger was found dead in a gentleman’s club on the 10th of July 2019 and the rugby world joined in mourning his loss this weekend. South Africa’s victory against Australia was the first Springboks match since the news of James’s death broke and moments before the first ball was kicked, the country paid tribute to the legendary player during the national anthem.
Sports presenter Minnie was at the heart of the commemoration
She was not only serving as flag bearer on the day (a duty she thoroughly enjoyed) but she was tasked with supporting James’s children, Ruby and Caleb. It was a doubly emotional moment as the nation paid tribute to both James and legendary singer, Johnny Clegg, who passed away a week after the rugby player.
Minnie paid tribute to the Small family as she opened up about standing alongside his surviving children on Saturday afternoon when she wrote, “I stood with #JamesSmall’s kids as we sang the national anthem 🇿🇦 Two of the strongest and bravest kids who stood in front of the world days after losing their dad 💔 His legacy lives within both of you, sending my deepest condolences and love”.
I stood with #JamesSmall‘s kids as we sang the national anthem 🇿🇦 Two of the strongest and bravest kids who stood in front of the world days after losing their dad 💔 His legacy lives within both of you, sending my deepest condolences and love ❤ #RSAvAUS #RIPJamesSmall 🇿🇦 pic.twitter.com/O2GUNm31pU
— Minnie Dlamini Jones (@MinnieDlamini) July 21, 2019
An emotional moment as the late James Small’s children are on the pitch and the Springboks run out to to the late Johnny Clegg’s Impi. pic.twitter.com/rVfDA0hB1n
— SA Rugby magazine (@SARugbymag) July 20, 2019
James’s death has been shrouded in controversy after it was reported that he was found naked and unconscious in a strip club before being pronounced dead
After his family pleaded for both privacy and sensibility, it was eventually revealed that reports of him being found naked were inaccurate.
It’s unclear how these rumours have impacted his children but it was heartwarming to see them receive tremendous support on Saturday after what can only be described as a difficult few weeks following their father’s death.
— The Journalist (@VWSFire) July 20, 2019
James Small’s children running out as mascots and the Springboks having his face on their numbers such a beautiful gesture @Springboks
And then of course…. Impi 👏❤️
— Zelda la Grange ©™✌ (@ZeldalaGrangeSA) July 20, 2019
The SA Rugby Legends committee has joined forces in raising funds for the Small family and were at the heart of his funeral proceedings on the 18th of July this year.