Mugabe, Castro to SA?

2004-04-22 10:51
Pretoria - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his Cuban counterpart Fidel Castro may be among the guests to celebrate South Africa's ten years of democracy next week.

The celebrations will coincide with President Thabo Mbeki's inauguration for his second term in office.

Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said 36 heads of state, eight government heads and 47 heads of delegations have already indicated that they will attend the event.

For security reasons Mamoepa refused to give the names, but said the guests were from Africa, Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Asia.

The day's programme will be divided into three parts.

Events will start at 09:00 with a service led by church leaders at the Union Buildings amphitheatre. Chief justice Arthur Chaskalson will inaugurate Mbeki, who will pledge his oath, sign a statement and address the nation.

Guests will then move to the lawns in front of the Union Building where a stage has been erected for the 10 years of democracy celebrations.

This will include a military parade down Church Street, live music and lunch. Artists will include PJ Powers, Karen Zoid and Jabu Khanyile.

VIPs will attend a cocktail party at the State Theatre in the evening. Artists such as Judith Sepuma, Xolisa Dlamini and Abdullah Ebrahim will perform.

Carl Niehaus, who is organising the celebrations, earlier said R60m had been set aside for the inauguration.

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