Students’ prank leads to positive outcome

“Borrowing” of Atterbury’s giant Springbok jersey leads to donation to Atterbury Trust

With Springbok spirit currently at a high, two Pretoria students took their enthusiasm for the Bokke campaign a bit too far. They decided to “borrow” the giant Springbok jersey that is dressed on the large Angus Taylor statue “Son of the Soil” by Atterbury Property during each Rugby World Cup tournament, for their own purposes. This renowned stone statue stands in front of the company’s Clubhouse headquarters in Hazelwood, Pretoria.

Ignus Jordaan and his accomplice Alex Mook were socialising with friends at the Pretoria Country Club after the Springbok test against Tonga on Sunday, 1 October 2023. They were in high spirits following the Bokke’s victory and celebrated the occasion by playing snooker. Unable to catch an Uber home in the early hours of Monday, 2 October, they decided to walk from the club to the Hazelwood area.

On their way, they walked past the renamed “Springbok of the Soil” statue and on the spur of the moment, decided to make the oversized Springbok jersey on the statue their own. Security cameras captured the escapade.

When Atterbury Property’s staff arrived early in the morning at work, they immediately investigated and identified the two vagabonds with the help of video footage. However, instead of punishing them immediately, Atterbury Property South Africa’s CEO, Armond Boshoff and his team felt the situation could perhaps create an opportunity for the youngsters to learn a positive lesson.

“We argued that, although Ignus and Alex took their support of the Bokke Rugby World Cup campaign too far when they removed our jersey from the statue, their intent was rather to support the Springboks than to cause damage,” said Boshoff.

He however also said that it was of course the wrong thing to do, but that it created an opportunity for the students to show in a positive way that they had learned from the incident and that everyone must take responsibility for their own actions.

Boshoff went on: “Ignus and Alex approached us and proposed that, as part of their own atonement, they would donate a cash amount of R10 000 to Atterbury Trust and replace the jersey. They also indicated that they would perform community service in the area for a few months.”

“We regret what we did,” said Ignus Jordaan. “The right thing for us to do is to make amends for our actions.”

Alex Mook agreed: “Atterbury Property contacted us with a positive approach. It helped a lot, because when we proposed to make a donation and to perform community service, they immediately agreed. We are very happy that the outcome is positive.”

Ignus and Alex will maintain a stone wall emblem and its garden bedding on the corner boundary of the Pretoria Country Club between Albert and Dely streets in Hazelwood until November this year.

“We are delighted that we could resolve the situation in this way,” said Boshoff. “Ignus and Alex were willing from the outset to take responsibility for their actions and the aftermath is a positive result for everyone.

“Now we are keeping our fingers firmly crossed for the Springbok’s campaign to retain the Web Ellis Cup for winning the Rugby World Cup two times in a row. I am convinced the Bokke can pull it off!”

Watch the video here.