Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele says former Springbok captain and cabinet minister Dawie de Villiers distinguished himself both in sport and politics. De Villiers died at his home in Stellenbosch from natural causes aged 81. As scrumhalf, De Villiers played 25 test matches for the South African side. After retiring from rugby, he went into politics and became a member of Parliament between 1972-1977.
He was later appointed as South African Ambassador in London before returning back to politics on home soil and before retiring.
“Dawie de Villiers is one of those maestros who went to represent apartheid South Africa as a captain and a most distinguished rugby player what distinguished him even more is when he became one of the apartheid ministers who participated in the echelons of the new peoples government. He went to serve a non racial democratic government under the presidency of our icon President Nelson Mandela.”
A memorial service will be held in Stellenbosch next Wednesday for De Villiers.
His son, Coenie de Villiers, says he was a strong leader.
“I think one of the elements that very few people have highlighted is the fact that he served for eight years as a deputy director of world tourism organisation based in Madrid, and he campaigned for ethical tourism and programmes against child and sexual exploitation. So really, he was serving not only South Africa but probably the wider constituency.”
In the video below, SA Rugby confirms De Villier’s death: