National News

Zuma thanks SA for being nice

2010-07-07 21:41

Durban - President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday thanked South Africans for warmly welcoming visitors during the World Cup and he described the tournament as incident free.

"Our visitors have been welcomed warmly and the stadiums have been filled to capacity. Government would like to thank South Africans for handling visitors well," Zuma said in Durban on Wednesday night.

He was addressing business leaders, ambassadors and soccer leaders during an event organised to celebrate the spirit of the World Cup ahead of the semi-final between Germany and Spain at the city's Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Zuma was impressed that South Africans had continued to support the World Cup even after the elimination of Bafana Bafana.

"They (South Africans) continued to cheer other teams. That was wonderful. I was impressed by the fact that South Africans wore jerseys of other national teams," he said.

Zuma said the World Cup had made Africa the talk of the world, which had been impressed at South Africa organisation of the soccer spectacular.

"There is no doubt that this Cup has made our continent to be the talk of the world. During the G20 meeting in Toronto, I was congratulated by heads of states," he said.

He was happy that the World Cup was attended by many heads of state. "Almost the entire [African Union] was here. This shows that this was not only for the South Africans but the whole continent," he said.

Zuma was also happy that the people who doubted South Africa could successfully host the World Cup had apologised and praised the country.

"These are the people who were talking about plan B. They have been impressed because we have displayed what we are capable of."

He described Moses Mabhida Stadium as an absolutely beautiful stadium.

He had been told it ranked second in the world for its beautiful features.

Zuma, who is a soccer fanatic, did not want to predict the score for the semi-final.

"Even during the last semi-final game in Cape Town, I made sure that I did not jump when the goal was scored.

"I believe that it will be an exciting game because both teams have very quick players," he said.

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