Kyle Steyn: From growing up with Nelson Mandela to facing South Africa for Scotl

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9 months 1 week ago #828962 by Bob Brogan
This article is worth a read, Kyle's dad led a colourful life www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/59233294


The first time Kyle met the great man was 1996. "Yeah, I was only a toddler," he recalls. "Can you believe this, dad brought me to see President Mandela and he put an All Blacks hat on my head. I mean, what were you thinking, dad?

"Mandela was full of warmth and kindness. That's what I remember. You arrive at his residence and it's a pretty intimidating environment but he was very relaxed. He must have been incredibly busy but he made you feel like he had all the time in the world for you."

It's weird how life goes. When Rory was listening to those phone taps as a young special branch officer, he was detailed to focus on one woman in particular: Mary Mxadana, PA to the general secretary of the Council of Churches.

When he become the team leader of Mandela's protection unit, he went to the union building one day to get his programme of engagements for the following week and there was the same Mary whose phone he'd listened to years before. She was now the president's principal PA.

"I said, 'I need to tell you something, I was a special branch cop and we bugged your phone and I used to listen to your calls'," says Rory. "She threw back her head and roared with laughter. What a fantastic woman."


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