VIDEO: Wayde welcomed by DA-representatives

James Letuka from the DA and Bloemfontein’s own Wayde van Niekerk. PHOTO: CATHY DLODLO

South Africa’s Olympic 400m winner and world record holder, Wayde van Niekerk arrived in Bloemfontein at his parents’ home yesterday and received a warm welcome from DA Free State legislature members and councillors. The DA’s James Letuka praised Van Niekerk for his achievement and said he made all South Africans proud.

Van Niekerk’s achievement will never be forgotten by young people and all South Africans, including people from the Free State, said Letuka.

Van Niekerk’s proud mother, Odessa Swarts, welcomed her son home with curry and rooties. She told Courant her son is however more of a red meat person who enjoys a braai tjop or a steak. Van Niekerk arrived in South Africa on Wednesday.

People will be able to see Van Niekerk today when he will be part of an open bus parade through the streets of Bloemfontein. The open bus tour has been arranged by Free State MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Mathabo Leeto, to honour the world champion. Van Niekerk will proceed via  Hoffman Square to his former school, Grey College, and the University of the Free State, where he is currently a student. He will also be seen in Rocklands and at Twin City in Heidedal.

The bus will leave from the Free State Sport Science Institute (FSSSI) in President Brand Street, Oranjesig at 10:45, and will proceed through St. Andrew’s Street , Fichardt Street, Charlotte Maxeke Street to Hoffman Square at 11:30. It will then make its way through Charlotte Maxeke Street, President Brand Street and King’s Way to Sir George Grey Street to the Grey College Rugby Stadium (12:15).

The tour will then cross Jock Meiring Street, on to Sir George Grey Street, via  Parfitt Avenue on to Nelson Mandela Drive towards the UFS. The contigent will then arrive at the UFS’s Pellies Park at 13:45.  From there it will pass through Nelson Mandela Drive, Parfitt Avenue, Park Road, right into Kolbe Street, left on to President Avenue towards Church Street. The tour will head straight on to Church Street towards Vista University (slight left on Selemela Street), right on to David Montoedi Street, left on to Winkie Direko Street, on to Mabule Street, left on to Chief Moroka Crescent and left on to Phale Street.  The procession will arrive at the Mangaung Sport Centre in Rocklands at 14:30.  From there it will proceed back on to Chief Moroka Crescent, left on to Moshoeshoe Street, on to the M10 , left on to the Dewetsdorp Road, right on to  Heatherdale Road where they are set to arrive at Twin City Mall at 15:10.

Cathy Dlodlo & Christal-lize Muller