In giving a brief welcome to Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi and the crowds gathered at OR Tambo International Airport on Saturday, Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina said he was disappointed at the turnout of white faces in the audience.
A stage had been set up in the arrivals area, with Miss South Africa Sasha-Lee Laurel Olivier tearfully welcoming her home for the first time since her triumph last year.
Masina congratulated Tunzi on her achievement and thanked the people who had come out to welcome her. He then said that he could not help but compare it to the return of the World Cup-winning Springboks last year, and note that there were far fewer white people this time around.
He both encouraged and admonished white South Africans to do more to express national unity.
Tunzi will be on a weeklong visit to various cities, including street parades, a visit to her hometown in the Eastern Cape, and attending President Cyril Ramaphosa’s state of the nation (Sona) address as a personal guest.
She will next be headed to her birthplace, Tsolo, to receive an official welcome at Mthatha airport and arrive at her village on Saturday afternoon on a float in the colours of the SA flag.
She will unveil a mural created in her honour on Sunday.
On Monday she will visit her primary school, Canaan Academy, in Dutywa.
On Thursday a parade in an open-topped bus will move through Johannesburg’s streets.
On Friday, Tunzi will be in Cape Town following her attendance at Sona the previous night. There will be a street parade.
(Compiled by Charles Cilliers)
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