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Wed Sep 03 04:07:57 SAST 2014

God lives in Cape Town: Zuma

Sapa | 25 April, 2013 16:24
Cape Town from the air.
Image by: POOL / REUTERS

God resides in the picturesque Mother City, President Jacob Zuma said at the release of the annual tourism statistics on Thursday.

Speaking in Cape Town, where he announced a 10 percent increase in tourism growth in 2012, Zuma recounted a story told to him in Uganda some years ago.

The president said he was visiting Lake Victoria, where he remarked to a local man how beautiful Uganda was.

"[The man] said when God created the earth the last place he created was Uganda. There was a lot of material left over so he played around with it to separate it and make it beautiful."

Zuma said he told the Ugandan man how lucky he and his countrymen were.

"He said, but do you know where God went when he finished the job here? I said I don't know and he said he went to stay in Cape Town," Zuma said to laughter from the audience.

Zuma could not tell exactly where in Cape Town God lived, but suspected it was on top of Table Mountain.

"So we are here at a place which is blessed," he said.

The story was meant for Capetonians as a lesson on how the world viewed the city.

"Capetonians must know this [story] so they are nicer to people when they come here."

Zuma urged the Mother City's people to exhibit warmth and show their welcoming spirit when high-level delegations from around the globe visited Cape Town for next week's World Economic Forum Africa meeting.

"We again have an opportunity to prove our expertise in hosting an event of this magnitude, particularly with the people of Cape Town," Zuma said.

After announcing the tourism statistics, he went on a walkabout in the V&A Waterfront to meet tourists and view the attractions.

Zuma and his large entourage attracted huge interest from visitors who flocked to the walkway at the water's edge to snap photographs on their cellphones of the president.

A marimba band and dance groups performed for him while he showed his support by helping to fill their money baskets.

A mime, who managed to surprise Zuma and his bodyguards, received the biggest tip -- a R200 note.

Zuma walked past the man -- painted in gold -- apparently taking him for a statue.

But when the still figure moved, mimicking the motions of a robot, Zuma turned around and shook his hand, bending down to place his donation in a wooden moneybox.

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Wed Sep 03 04:07:58 SAST 2014 ::