by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG – LOCAL political parties put aside their differences to heap praise on South Africa’s senior national team – Banyana Banyana – after they were crowned champions of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON).
The 2-1 win over hosts Morocco on Saturday evening was not only the first time they clinched the tournament but was reprieve for a country enduring economic hardships, political tensions and a spate of mass shootings.
President Cyril Ramaphosa led the congratulatory messages.
“They promised me that they would bring the trophy home,” he wrote.
“We cannot wait to welcome you back and thank you for flying the flag,” the president stated.
A red carpet welcome is expected when the team returns home on Tuesday.
The opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) also sent its congratulations to the Desiree Ellis-coached team after clinching the tournament at the sixth attempt.
The Democratic Alliance (DA), the main opposition, noted the South Africans’ historic victory was not only a feather in the cap of the team but Ellis who also won her third consecutive Confederation of African Football (CAF) Women’s Coach of the Year last week.
“This victory shows the talent and determination of South African women and South African women in leadership,” said Tsepo Mhlongo, DA Shadow Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture.
He said Banyana Banyana had to overcome several challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Not only did the team flourish in the face of adversity, they showed South Africa the true meaning of nation building and social cohesion,” Mhlongo added.
The Southern African nation is in dire need of cohesion amid political and social strife.
– CAJ News