Tribute to Sporting Icon Steve Tshwete
In 1992 when the Club had its first Annual Black Tie dinner at the Ritz Hotel in Sea Point, Steve Tshwete was invited to be our guest speaker. He readily accepted.
Steve was delighted to meet two UCT Springboks (see photo below of him with H.O. de Villiers and Roy McCallum). As a rugby man, he shared with us his joy in watching H.O. de Villiers, as a school boy, enthral spectators playing for Dale College in King William’s Town in the early 60’s, so he was especially delighted to meet H.O. Steve mentioned that Ikey Old Boys Roy and Ian McCallum were always in their Springbok team selected on Robben Island.
(From left) H.O. de Villiers, Steve Tshwete & Roy McCallum at the Club’s first Annual Black Tie dinner, Cape Town 1992
H.O. de Villiers Talks about Steve Tshwete:
“I was exceptionally privileged to have had the pleasure of a number of very interesting discussions with Steve, who I got to know and recognise as a very unique man with a strong character and a wonderful sense of humour. Regrettably, there were far too few of these opportunities and I have, since his demise, sincerely regretted that there were in fact not more. I sincerely cherish the fact that he not only chatted freely and spontaneously with me, but that he was also prepared to share certain personal memories with me.
As we all know, in 1994 Steve was appointed the Minister of Sport and shortly thereafter South Africa was scheduled to host the 1995 Rugby World Cup. At the time, there was much speculation as to whether or not South Africa, with its new government, could/would rise to the occasion of being able to successfully host this event. It was whilst this speculation dominated almost every discussion in SA, that I bumped into Steve at Newlands and during our ensuing chat, I asked him the question: ‘will South Africa be able to successfully host the pending Rugby World Cup Tournament?’ To which he immediately replied: “Yes! But only if Louis Luyt is put in charge!”
To end, possibly on a lighter note, I always believed that my friend Steve loved the ladies and as such, I took the liberty of questioning him on this aspect during one of our more light-hearted chats. He looked at me through those thick-lensed spectacles that he was famous for, he smiled, chuckled and simply said: “H.O. as you know I wasted so much time on the island just off Cape Town, now it is time for me to make up for lost time!”