Proteas captain Graeme Smith, right, watches as President Jacob Zuma wishes Dolphins and Proteas batsman Hashim Amla, second from left, well before the national teams departure for the World Cup in Asia. Zuma also wished Smith, who turned 30 on Tuesday, a happy birthday. 	Photo: Yolande Snyman
Proteas captain Graeme Smith, right, watches as President Jacob Zuma wishes Dolphins and Proteas batsman Hashim Amla, second from left, well before the national teams departure for the World Cup in Asia. Zuma also wished Smith, who turned 30 on Tuesday, a happy birthday. Photo: Yolande Snyman

Zuma tells Proteas: Make Madiba proud

By Candice Bailey and Sapa Time of article published Feb 2, 2011

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President Nelson Mandela “smiled very broadly” on Tuesday when President Jacob Zuma spoke to him about the Proteas, who leave for the Cricket World Cup in two weeks’ time.

“Go teach them a lesson… come back and hand over the trophy to Mandela. I promised him you will do your best and make the nation proud,” Zuma told the national cricket team at the Presidential Guesthouse in Pretoria.

“When I talked about you, he smiled even more broadly. He supports you all the way and will be watching the games as much as possible on television.”

Zuma visited Mandela earlier on Tuesday, leading to over an hour’s delay of the meeting with the Proteas. Cricket SA’s chief executive officer, Gerald Majola, said: “We promise Madiba we’ll come back with the trophy.”

Meanwhile, Zuma assured the team that South Africans were confident about the side and he wished them success in the World Cup.

The competition in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India starts on February 19.

“We’ll be with you, we’ll be watching, we’ll be cheering. Bon voyage,” Zuma said.

He called on South Africans to support the team by wearing their Proteas T-shirts on Fridays.

Zuma visited Mandela for 90 minutes on Tuesday – the first time since his return from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and the 16th Summit of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, which was held in Ethiopia.

Mandela, 92, was recovering and receiving home-based care after his discharge from Milpark Hospital in Joburg on Friday where he was treated for an acute respiratory infection.

Presidential spokesman Zizi Kodwa had arrived at 12.45pm, followed by Zuma and an eight-car cavalcade.

Zuma’s car was the only one allowed on to the property while the rest of the cavalcade was forced to park in the street. Bodyguards and drivers waited outside.

As they left, neither Zuma nor Kodwa addressed the media, which had gathered at the corner of Houghton Road under the watchful eye of police.

Before Zuma’s arrival it had been a quiet morning at the Mandela house.

Nine vehicles were parked outside the house, including one of staff doing gardening services and two belonging to medics.

It was business as usual in the street with meter readers and newspaper delivery services passing through. By 11am, visitors started arriving.

Mandela’s granddaughter, Ndileka Mandela, arrived first, followed by his daughter Makaziwe Mandela and then grandson Mandla Mandela.

SANDF surgeon-general Vejay Ramlakan arrived later. - The Mercury

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