Politics and parties set Rio alight

2014-07-13 15:00

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President Jacob Zuma, Durban tenderpreneurs Sbu and Shauwn Mpisane, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula and KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu are among those rubbing shoulders with A-list celebrities in Brazil as the World Cup ends today.

The host nation may have been smashed out of the tournament by a rampant German team in the semifinals, but the party continues in the famously funky South American nation.

Not that Mbalula, for one, thinks Brazil can compare with Mzansi when it comes to jolling.

Mbalula, who tweeted pictures of himself enjoying Brazil this week, and was criticised by some for attending a tournament Bafana Bafana did not even qualify for, had harsh words for the Seleção after they lost 7-1 to Germany.

He tweeted after the game on Tuesday: “The truth about Brazilian players yesterday is they really were a bunch of losers. That’s how history will remember them, unfortunately.”

Mbalula famously dubbed Bafana Bafana “a bunch of losers” after they failed to qualify for this World Cup.

The man South Africans call Razzmatazz wasn’t impressed by the atmosphere, either.

“I must say the vibe is not like home, we are the real soccer fanatics,” he tweeted.

He said he remained a loyal fan of the South American hosts, who are also one of South Africa’s partners in Brics. “Nothing is finished. Stadium under construction. We here for the luv of the game #Brazilsolidarityforever,” he tweeted with a photograph of a stadium scaffolding that looked unfinished.

It’s not known where Zuma and his ministers will stay ?–?the president was accommodated at the iconic Copacabana Palace Hotel two years ago while in Rio for the UN’s Conference on Sustainable Development.

The luxurious hotel, overlooking the city’s famous beaches, has housed stars such as Madonna, Michael Jackson and Marilyn Monroe.

All play and no work from our politicians would make South Africans rather unhappy, though, and the presidency was quick to say this week that Zuma and a number of his ministers were primarily in Brazil for next Tuesday’s Brics summit.

The presidency confirmed that Zuma would attend tonight’s final between Germany and Argentina.

Mchunu is on leave and has gone to Brazil, according to his office. He is not there on government business.

The office was unable to say who was hosting him and picking up the tab for the trip as he was on a “private visit’’.

Brazil has been packed with models, soccer stars’ gorgeous wives and girlfriends, Hollywood royalty and rock stars like The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger since the tournament kicked off on June 12.

Multiple Oscar nominee Leonardo DiCaprio and 20 friends spent some time shacked up on a multibillion-rand superyacht called the Topaz, stepping ashore to catch some matches, the Daily Mail reported.

Custom-made for billionaire Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan in 2012, the Topaz is considered the fifth-largest yacht in the world. It was moored in Rio de Janeiro, where the final will take place at 9pm.

DiCaprio?–?sporting the colours of the Brazilian flag?– was spotted cheering for the home side during Tuesday’s brutal defeat.

DiCaprio’s former girlfriend, model Gisele Bündchen, showed her support for her favourite team on Instagram: “Excited!!! Go Brazil!!!!” she wrote before the drubbing.

Lingerie model Candice Swanepoel also jetted to Brazil to take part in the football frenzy late last month, and soaked up some sunshine while in town. The beauty posted a picture of herself frolicking on Copacabana beach on Instagram.

“Watching the game AND getting a tan,” she wrote.

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