A former bodyguard of Nelson Mandela has claimed that the New Zealand rugby team were poisoned by bookmakers prior to their surprise loss to South Africa in the 1995 World Cup final.
When South Africa defeated the All Blacks by 15-12 in the World Cup decider almost 21 years ago at the Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg, it was viewed as a seminal unifying moment for a nation still fractured by the legacy of apartheid.
However, there has always been lingering doubts about the veracity and, indeed, integrity of the victory secured by the boot of Joel Stransky.
Rumours insinuating foul play visited upon a New Zealand side spearheaded by the late, great Jonah Lomu have refused to die. Indeed, the entire New Zealand squad came down with food poisoning in the days leading up to the final, and now further fuel has been added to the fires of speculation
Rory Steyn, a one-time minder of Nelson Mandela and a member of the All Blacks’ security team at said tournament, told the New Zealand Herald that there were dark forces at play – perhaps at the behest of the bookies.
“I know what I saw… a team of guys lying on the floor, very, very ill. I don’t think it was the food, I think it was the coffee and the tea and possibly even the drinking water. The odds were on the All Blacks.”
Of course, these claims are as of yet unsubstantiated, while Colin Meads, who managed New Zealand in 1995, admitted three years later that the source of the food poisoning was likely to have been tainted milk.