Click and you could have your selfie appear on a Springbok player's Rugby World Cup jersey!

Mandela to decide on the day

2010-06-10 19:38
Johannesburg – Former president Nelson Mandela will decide on the day if he will attend Friday's World Cup opening match between South Africa and Mexico in Soccer City.

President Jacob Zuma has issued an open invitation to the frail 91-year-old national icon, who has restricted his public appearances in recent years.

"The former president has an open invitation to attend. He wants to attend, it depends on his feeling that day," Rich Mkhondo, communications officer of the World Cup local organising committee said on Thursday at a press conference in Soccer City.

"We all hope that he will be there."

There has been months of uncertainty over whether the elderly statesman, who played a central role in South Africa's bid to become the tournament's first African host, will attend the kick-off.

27 years in jail

Mandela lived in Soweto before being jailed for 27 years between 1963 and 1990 for resisting apartheid.

Four years after his release, he was elected president in the country's first democratic national elections.

President Zuma has also issued invites to the heads of states of all members of the African Union.

"We hope that the majority of them will attend," said Mkhondo.

Other dignitaries scheduled to attend the opening game include former South African presidents Thabo Mbeki and FW de Klerk, US Vice President Joe Biden and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Read more on: nelson mandela jacob zuma

More In This Category

Diego Maradona has sent a message of love and admiration to former president Fidel Castro and promised to visit Cuba soon.
Gideon Sam, president of South Africa's Olympic governing body SASCOC, has urged South Africans to look further down the road.
A German aquarium says there is no way it will sell or lend octopus oracle Paul to Spain, after repeated requests from the country.
Nine out of 10 foreign visitors in SA for the World Cup will recommend the country as an ideal holiday destination, a survey has found.
Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Tue, 29 Jul 2014 @00:00
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk