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Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .

let's show the world real unity

By Ido LekotaPolitical Notebook | Jun 10, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

THE World Cup is upon us. Tomorrow millions of soccer lovers throughout the world will become part of the official opening of the extravaganza.

THE World Cup is upon us. Tomorrow millions of soccer lovers throughout the world will become part of the official opening of the extravaganza.

The preparations made for the opening reminds one of how preparations used to be made for weddings in the villages.

For weeks teams from both the groom and the bride's side would practise songs for the wedding day. The norm was that on the day, the two troupes would compete against each other as the bridal couple strolled in step down the street.

On Friday South Africans will be there with their vuvuzelas trying to drown out the normally boisterous Mexicans with their banjos and "olé" chants.

Those attending the game at Soccer City are expecting a spirit of camaraderie and oneness as the players entertain them with their skills in the beautiful game.

With the news that former president Nelson Mandela will attend the opening game the nation is hopeful that his Madiba magic will spur the boys into beating the hard-playing Mexicans.

We have seen the Madiba magic working before. Who can forget how utata spurred Amabokoboko to lifting the 1995 World Rugby Cup. In 1996 utata was also there when - after many years of isolation from international soccer - Bafana Bafana lifted the African Cup of Nations trophy.

It is the very spirit that our saint-like leader imbued the two teams with that we are hopeful will see Bafana Bafana becoming victorious tomorrow.

Many South Africans are also hopeful that the same Madiba magic will drown the strident howls of naysayers. It is individuals who continue to speak ill of our beautiful country despite its progress.

They conveniently pretend as if they know of crime-free World Cup extravaganzas in its history. Sadly though, contrary to common perception, these are not foreigners unhappy about South Africa having beaten their own countries to host the World Cup.

These are fellow South Africans - who in some instances under the pretext of being part of the vigilant media - continue to peddle negative stories about this country.

A case in point is the incident on Monday where robbers chased by cops gate-crashed into Parliament. The miscreants were subsequently arrested.

A journalist reporting on the incident started by pointing out that it happened only a few days before the start of the World Cup. The clear message from the reportage was that no place is safe - not even Parliament - in crime-ridden South Africa. The fact that the robbers were arrested became a sideshow for the reporter.

South Africans watched in consternation as one journalist asked visitors arriving at the airport whether they were not afraid of crime, coming into this country.

Duh ... people who come to watch the World Cup do it of their own volition. That they are prepared to spend so much money coming to this country means that they are confident about their safety.

This, of course, is not what the "vigilant" journalist is willing to consider. For him, it is important to remind everyone coming into this country that he or she is treading where angels dare not tread.

An American friend now living here always tells about how at dinner parties some South Africans whinge and moan about the country.

He always tells me with a glint in his eye how he tells the whingers to stop running down their country.

"You have such a beautiful country - why do you keep on running it down? Crime is everywhere in the world," he would say.

Indeed why do we always run our country down?

Yes, crime continues to be our country's blight. But so it is in many other countries. What is important is what we are doing to fight it.

Let us "stop asking what our country can do for us but ask what we can do for our country".

For once let's unite behind our boys tomorrow.

Halala Bafana Bafana.

Siya BaNgena.


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