AS OUR beautiful country gears itself up for the best World Cup ever and as we also celebrate and pay tribute to the country's favourite grandfather and the icon of our liberation, former president Nelson Mandela, I would like on behalf of many "silent" South Africans to also pay tribute to another great South African who remains an unsung hero in helping our country host the World Cup.
As the country's head of state Thabo Mbeki led the South African delegation to Zurich in May 2004 when South Africa was awarded the honour to host the tournament.
True to his character, he was hands-on with the actual bid and even took a personal interest in the actual speeches that formed part of our bid.
The government under his tutelage stood 100percent behind the bid and gave Fifa the necessary comforts in terms of guarantees to ensure that South Africa was fully compliant with Fifa requirements.
Who can understate the lobbying at diplomatic level that had to take place to ensure that we had other nations' support. All in all, Mbeki played no insignificant role in securing South Africa the World Cup.
In fact, the hosting of the 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa forms very much part of the Mbeki legacy.
It is therefore sad to witness his contribution being deliberately ignored by both the LOC and especially the SABC.
But then, again, the new political masters would be upset if anyone dared acknowledge any meaningful contribution by this great South African.
On behalf of many "silent" South Africans, please allow me to salute and express our appreciation to Zizi. Siyabonga Zizi.
Sim Cele, Morningside