Thousands join Cape Town World Cup party

THE soccer spirit reached Cape Town's rooftops yesterday as an estimated 80000 people poured into the city from as early as 7am.

THE soccer spirit reached Cape Town's rooftops yesterday as an estimated 80000 people poured into the city from as early as 7am.

They came to take part in the "mother of all street parties" hosted by Fifa and the City of Cape Town at the Fan Fest on the city's Grand Parade.

Gates opened at 11am for the party but people queued from early in the morning, taking up whole streets, which were closed to traffic for the party.

The colourful crowd donned green-and-gold jerseys in support of Bafana-Bafana, the famous Makarapa and custom-made glasses, as they sang Shosholoza among other songs of joy and celebration.

Inside the huge Fan Fest public viewing area, which is the size of two soccer pitches, an afternoon and night of wild partying kicked off at lunch time yesterday.

"I'm excited and crazy. I can't describe how I feel. I will be here until tomorrow morning and the day after," said local Dwayne van Niekerk from Kensington.

He said he was ready to bet his last rand that Bafana Bafana would beat Mexico tonight.

Americans Kevin and Julie Reager and their two sons, in Bafana Bafana jerseys, said they had been to the 2006 World Cup in Germany but had never seen anything like this before

"Everyone is nice and friendly," said Kevin, indicating that they would be partying in the city the whole night.

Leonard Khonza of Gugulethu said: "We are proud to be South Africans. I will be here the whole night."

Mustero Dorbel of Botswana said he was going to stand behind Bafana Bafana.

"Their recent performance was very promising but in soccer it is hard to predict."

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