SA public figures wish citizens a Merry Christmas

Eyewitness News spoke to South African politicians and sports personalities to find out how they are spending their Christmas Day.

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CAPE TOWN - Eyewitness News spoke to South African politicians to find out how they are spending their Christmas Day.

This year, the world is celebrating centenaries of former President Nelson Mandela and struggle activist Albertina Sisulu.

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille says she will be with family at Leewenhof in Cape Town: “I will be spending my Christmas with my family.

“On Christmas Eve, we are all going to get together and Father Christmas will come because we now have grandchildren. So, that will be a lot of fun. And on Christmas Day, we’re going to have a quiet get together at our home in Leewenhof,” says Zille.

“South Africa faces a lot of challenges, and sadly we’ve become a polarised society, yet all of us believe in building one nation with one future. So, let’s get together and show that this is the best way for everyone and not the extremes which are developing,” Zille adds.

Newly-formed party, Good, leader Patricia de Lille has encouraged South Africans to work and unite more than ever.

“I would like to wish all Good South Africans a good Christmas and a good New Year, and I hope that we will work harder to achieve the dreams of many South Africans and the liberations struggle ideals that we fought so hard for.”

Nelson Mandela's grandson Mandla Mandela will be celebrating with the community of Mvezo in the Eastern Cape.

“We would like to appeal to all South Africans to be safe on the roads, abstain from substance and alcohol abuse, and ensure that they are able to look and care for their children.”

EWN also caught up with some South African sports personalities.

Proteas and Cape Cobras batsman JP Duminy says he will be with his family and children.

“I’m spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my family. This year we're doing something different; we will do lunch at my grandparent’s house. On New Year’s Eve, we'll have a family braai. My message for the people is to be safe, and to enjoy this time with family and friends,” Duminy says.

Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis will be with family and soon afterwards she is going away on holiday: “I’m spending Christmas Day with my brother and I’m hoping to go on holiday immediately after for a few days.

“I will be taking a laptop with me, unfortunately, because we’re preparing for the Netherlands and Sweden. The message I have for the people during the festive season is to not drink and drive and enjoy this time with family. This year was also about showing women’s sport is on the rise,” says Ellis.

Sports Minister Tokozile Xasa says she will be spending the time in her hometown in Eastern Cape, where she will be giving the elderly people and young girls gifts.

“I have decided to have a Christmas dinner for the elderly and young girls, who are active in sports in the community, in my area,” she said.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)