By Tom Degun

South African_team_depart_for_London_2012August 22 - The star-studded South African Paralympic team was given a special send-off by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) in Johannesburg at an event that saw Oscar Pistorius named as the flag-bearer for the Opening Ceremony on August 29.

Pistorius, a four-times Paralympic champion, became the first double-leg amputee to compete in athletics at the Olympics earlier this month and carried the South African flag at the Closing Ceremony on August 12.

The 24-year-old will now be doing so again at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford after he was announced as his country's flag-bearer by SASCOC President Gideon Sam.

"This will be something I'll remember for the rest of my life," said Pistorius, who spoke at the Johannesburg reception via video link from his training base in Italy.

"Let's bring back those medals."

Sam admitted that he has high hopes for the team of 62, which will be looking to emulate the class of Beijing 2008 which brought back 30 medals, 21 of them gold, to finish sixth on the medals table.

Natalie du_Toit_22_AugustMultiple swimming champion Natalie du Toit has been described as "humanity at its best"

"When the Paralympic Flame is extinguished after the 2012 Games the victory flames will be lit across South Africa," he said.

"This team gathered here tonight (pictured top) will make South Africa proud and will fight to improve on their last haul."

Also in attendance at the reception was South African Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, who highlighted Pistorius and Natalie du Toit, the 10-times Paralympic swimming champion who competed at Beijing 2008, as great examples to the rest of the team.

"Oscar Pistorius and Natalie du Toit have already shown us by previous performances that they are humanity at its best," he said.

"In fact, Parliament will take time on the 28th of this month to salute our sportsmen and women.

"The Paralympians have never disappointed us and you all deserve your special place."

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