Zuma extends condolences to Togo

Monday, January 11, 2010

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has extended his condolences to the government and people of Togo following the deadly ambush on that country's football team in Angola.

The team was on Friday traveling by bus in the city of Cabinda when it was attacked. Two team officials and the Angolan driver of the bus were killed and several players were injured in the attack.

The team was in Angola for the African Cup of Nations (CAN2010) which began on Sunday.

President Zuma has wished members of the team and their support staff a speedy recovery.

"He also extended support to the Angolan government in its ongoing hard work of bringing about total peace and stability in the country," the Presidency said.

Togo has withdrawn from the CAN2020 which was opened by a match between Angola and Mali. The game ended in a 4-4 draw.

Zuma was in Angola for the awesome opening ceremony and match, accompanied by the Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane and the Deputy Minister of Sports and Recreation Gert Oosthuizen.

Zuma has further dismissed speculation that the Angolan incident had any bearing on the 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament in South Africa. He reiterated that South Africa remained 100 percent ready to host the World Cup.

He emphasised that the shocking and unacceptable attack on the Togolese team should not be blown out of proportion, but should serve as impetus for the African continent and the world at large to work even harder to rid the world of terrorist activity and violence wherever it surfaces.

World Cup local organising spokesperson Rich Mkhondo also said there was no threat to the 2010 World Cup.

"We regard what happened in Angola as an isolated terrorist incident. It should be treated as such... no impact on South Africa. South Africa is not Angola."

Meanwhile, Angolan Prime Minister Paulo Kassoma has re-assured the Chairman of the Confederation of African Football, Issa Hayatou, about the security conditions for the holding of tournament in Angola.

Kassoma said the sad event was an isolated action, adding that the Angolan government was giving its moral support and care to the delegation of Togo, emphasising that the competition will take its normal course.