SOUTH Africa will roll out the red carpet on Sunday at Ellis Park Stadium for the eagerly awaited opening ceremony of the Confederations Cup.
Topping the list is President Jacob Zuma, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and Fifa boss Sepp Blatter.
Zuma will be accompanied by more than 30 ministers and deputies - and Blatter will be flanked by his general secretary g Jerome Valcke and top Fifa executives.
Former state resident Nelson Mandela - who was highly influential in the bidding process for the 2010 World Cup - won't be able to attend.
But other former presidents, Thabo Mbeki and FW de Klerk, have been invited, as has Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.
Mbeki, Tutu and De Klerk were also part of the South African team that went to Zurich in May 2004 in a bid to convince Fifa to bring the World Cup to the mother continent.
Nine South African premiers, mayors of various cities and towns as well as representatives from the business world - including tycoon Patrice Mtosepe - will also be there.
Plans are at an advanced stage for African soccer greats, such as Samuel Eto (Cameroon), Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast) and Michael Essien (Ghana), to grace the final on June 28.
The opening ceremony has generated interest from Angola, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Nigeria, Cameroon and Lesotho - who are already in Mzansi.
LOC chairman Irvin Khoza said: "The opening ceremony will be one of the greatest shows ever - every African will be proud.
"With the Confederations Cup being the appetiser to the World Cup, we want to show that Africa is equally capable of hosting any global event."