National News

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

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
35 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk

Updated: Hottest SWC WAGs

Updated: Hottest SWC 2010 WAGs

Vote

World Cup 2010 is over and the country is returning to normal - but have you moved on yet?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.