An African feast awaits invited Heads of State and Government at the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup

Sunday, May 23, 2010

We have noted the misleading and grossly inaccurate report in the City Press titled "Zuma's FIFA VIP Fiasco, Sunday 23 May 2010", insinuating that arrangements have not been made for the invited Heads of State and Government to the FIFA World Cup tournament, especially the opening ceremony on the 11th of June.

Government has constantly stated its preparedness with regards to this tournament and we stand by that assertion. The readiness also applies to the hospitality to be afforded to the Heads of State and Government and other eminent persons who have been invited to grace this historic occasion. There is no diplomatic or logistical nightmare; we have put all systems in place for our guests.

All arrangements are being finalised to ensure the successful attendance of the Heads of State and Government and other VVIPs to the opening ceremony, including accommodation, seating arrangements, security, transport, logistics and protocol arrangements.

The South African Government working with FIFA will host all the invited Heads of State and government at an appropriate venue at the stadium, which will adhere to International protocol requirements.

Currently, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) is processing responses from the invited Heads of State and Government and eminent persons through the necessary diplomatic channels. South Africa, conscious of its international obligations, will avail the necessary information at an appropriate time.

South Africa has hosted more than 140 major international events since 1994. We are proud of our track record in this regard. Among events hosted were the Rugby World Cup, African Cup of Nations, Cricket World Cup, World Summit on Sustainable Development and recently the Confederations Cup tournament. We have also hosted the launch of the African Union and other similar events in the past which include the attendance of many Heads of State and Government, and there have been no crisis before, and there will be none during the Soccer World Cup.

All our guests and soccer lovers should expect an African feast of all times, and will treasure the memories of this World Cup for many years to come.

For more information please contact Zizi Kodwa on 082 330 4910

Issued by:
The Presidency
Union Buildings