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Johannesburg – The open ceremony of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) started as the rain subsided at the National Stadium in Soweto, south of Johannesburg on Saturday.
The ceremony began on schedule at 4pm with a distinctly African theme.
Structures resembling brick walls were assembled on the pitch with the words 'poverty' painted in black and 'HIV/AIDS' painted in red.
The entire soccer field was covered in rainbow coloured material.
Masses of children danced on the rainbow material.
After joining in the centre of the field, the children took apart the structures piece by piece.
The rain began two hours before the ceremony was due to start. At one point it increased steadily, but lightened with just under an hour before the start.
Most of the crowd took shelter behind the stands. The seats were left almost completely empty as supporters waited for the rain to stop.
The opening ceremony was being attended by President Jacob Zuma.
Fans, some blowing vuvuzelas, were allowed to enter the stadium at 2pm.
The majority of fans were dressed in yellow in support of Bafana Bafana. – Sapa