JOHANNESBURG – Sport, like so many other aspects of life, was divided along racial lines in apartheid South Africa.
White rugby fans in the Johannesburg area are trying to close the divide that endures 18 years after apartheid's end. Panorama sports club members have been working with community development organizations in some of the townships set aside for blacks under apartheid, neighborhoods that remain predominantly black and poor. Sixteen black players are now on Panorama's junior rugby team.
Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid icon, made a dramatic gesture of reconciliation when he attended the 1995 World Cup rugby final wearing a South Africa jersey. Mandela said without words that sport could be for all South Africans. The Panorama Cobras are trying to make that vision real.