Bring on the coffee...

2004-04-27 08:44
Pretoria - There were angry mutterings at the Union Buildings hours before the presidential inauguration on Tuesday when the promised coffee failed to arrive.

Hundreds of journalist and workers, who had been at the Union Building since just after 03:00, were told the caffeine-rich beverage desperately required to keep them awake and warm, had been stopped by security.

The Government Communication and Information Service (GCIS) confirmed that this had been the cause of the delay.

A source claimed that the caterers responsible for the coffee had failed to set up their canteen before the noon deadline on Monday.

"We closed the Union Buildings to all personnel to allow for a final security sweep," GCIS said.

So when the caterers arrived just after 05:00 they were stopped by the tight security.

"They were not permitted onto the grounds and it was only after heavy negotiations that we managed to get them onto the premises," GCIS said.

But by that stage, journalists had managed to infiltrate the VIP canteen where they jostled for coffee with the likes of foreign diplomats and political party leaders.

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