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The 2010 Fifa World Cup is an example of what a united South Africa could be like, President Jacob Zuma said on Wednesday.
“Every citizen became an ambassador of our beautiful country,” he told the national social cohesion summit in Soweto.
He said in the build-up to the event, community conversations were held to ask what it meant to be South African.
Many participants identified the unity and national pride of South Africans during the World Cup as a success story, he said.
“It showed us what is possible if we put our country first.”
The summit was being held in Kliptown, where 3 000 delegates of all races met in 1955 to draft the Freedom Charter, which calls for a non-racial South Africa that belongs to all who live in it.
The two-day event is hosted by the arts and culture department.
Political parties, business leaders, and civil society and government representatives attended.
Among them were National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu, former Speaker Frene Ginwala, and Zanele Mbeki, wife of former president Thabo Mbeki.
The summit's theme is: “Working together to create a proud and caring society”.
Zuma announced the need for the social cohesion summit in May, following the controversy caused by Brett Murray's painting “The Spear”, which depicted Zuma with his genitals exposed, and exposed rifts in South African society. – Sapa