Minister Nathi Mthethwa joins the Rugby Fraternity in mourning the passing of former SA Rugby President, Mr Silas Nkanunu

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06 Nov 2020

The Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture joins the rugby fraternity in mourning the passing of former SA Rugby President Mr Silas Nkanunu, who made history when he succeeded the late Louis Luyt as the organisation’s leader in the late 1990’s. He was the first black President of the South African Rugby Union (SARU). Mr Nkanunu was a Human Rights Lawyer who also served as Chairman of Sanzaar and briefly, Vice-Chairman of the International Rugby Board (IRB), now World Rugby.

Upon hearing of Mr Nkanunu’s passing, Minister Mthethwa said “One thing that we cannot take away from Mr Nkanunu was his vast experience of rugby as a sport and the administration ability he possessed. He will forever remain an integral part of transformation within rugby and his experience speaks for itself. He has been within the executive of the sport since 1992 and went on to become the first black African to head the organisation in 1998 and under his presidency, the rugby national team went on to field the first black African player by the name of Kaya Malotana”.

The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture extends its deepest and heartfelt condolences to the Nkanunu family, friends and the entire rugby fraternity. We will forever remember the indelible role he played during his time.

May his soul repose peacefully. 

Media enquiries:

Masechaba Khumalo: Spokesperson (Minister)


Mickey Modisane: Chief Director, Marketing and Comms (Sport)