South African President Cyril Ramaphosa says the half a million dollars stolen from his ranch was payment for 20 buffalo

President Cyril Ramaphosa hosted South Africa's national team at the Union Buildings after its outstanding performance at the Special Olympics World Games, where it went against 7,000 athletes from more than 180 countries.

The South African athletes competed in several sporting events during the Special Olympics World Games, held from June 17 to 25 in Germany, and returned to their home country with 22 gold, 20 silver and seven bronze medals.

"Our success in the Special Olympics shows what happens when government and civil society — represented here by Special Olympics South Africa — work together to ensure that we leave no one behind," the president said on Tuesday, as reported by SA News.

The Special Olympics World Games, organized by the IOC-recognized Special Olympics organization, is an international event that allows individuals to participate in sports regardless of their ability or disability.

Ramaphosa further shared that South Africa was honored to be "one of the first countries to support the Special Olympics Global Leadership Coalition for Inclusion, which reflects our commitment to the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in all areas of our society."

He mentioned how "proud" he was of the team as it "flew the flag for social inclusion and the advancement of human rights, which are a hallmark of the nation we have built during nearly 30 years of freedom."

South Africa gained independence in 1994 after the apartheid system ended in the late 20th century and Nelson Mandela became the first black president, also in 1994. Prior to the implementation of the apartheid system, South Africa was under Dutch colonization from 1652 to 1795.

Ramaphosa called the team a bunch of "heroes" everyone should look up to and get inspiration from not only in athletic arenas but also in every walk of life.

"May our commitment to inclusion as a nation shine as brightly as the achievements of our Special Olympics Team," the president added. "With such a hard-working and distinguished captain at the helm of Special Olympics South Africa, we can only expect even greater things from Team South Africa."

Mathews Phosa, chairperson of Special Olympics South Africa and awardee at the 19th Special Olympics Africa Leadership Conference held in Addis Ababa last month, shared a message on the importance of inclusion of individuals with an intellectual disability.

"Our athletes want to be heard and they demand inclusion, respect and equal opportunities. They declare that they are here to show the world their talents and abilities," Phosa said. "They deserve nothing else but our unwavering support."