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THE Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg Mpho Parks Tau has congratulated the people of Johannesburg for making the 29th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations – which came to a spectacular end on Sunday night a memorable one.


EXECUTIVE Mayor Tau said the event would be remembered for many years to come thanks to the city and its people.
“The safety of everyone was a priority and all logistics were up to standard. This proved once more that the City of Johannesburg can organise events of this magnitude without any hitches.”
The 40-minute closing ceremony reflected African’s more urbane, youthful theme. The ceremony, headlined by artists from all corners of Africa, was punctuated by the sound of vuvuzela and the beat of Africa. The ceremony was opened by Yvonne Chaka Chaka, the “Princess of Africa” and ambassador of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership; and former Bafana Bafana defender Mark Fish, who was representing the United against Malaria Campaign.
The duo joined the colourful dancers who had converged on the pitch to form the shape of Africa. True to the theme of the tournament, a red and blue banner with the words “Celebrate Africa” was held aloft by the dancers. Another one, with the words “Celebrate Africa; Take a Beat at Africa’s Feet” emblazoned on it, was floated among the fans.
South Africa’s newest musical sensation Micasa; vocalists Kelly Khumalo, Zonke Dikana and Thembisile Ntaka; Nigerian artist D’Banj and vocalist Muthuni Ndonga entertained the crowd.
The event featured many heart-warming moments. It wound up with elements of works accompanied by smoke filling the packed stadium.
The cast, which had put in more than 900 hours of rehearsals, consisted of professional dancers, students and township dance crews.
Before the start of the much-awaited final, the two teams were greeted by President Jacob Zuma, Minister of Sports and Recreation Fikile Mbalula, FIFA President Sepp Blatter, Confederation of African Football President Issa Hayatou and South African Football Association President Kirsten Nematandani.
The fans were given smooth access to the stadium thanks to the security agencies, including the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department. As far as the transport was concerned, commuters using Gautrain and Rea Vaya bus services arrived at the stadium without any glitches.
Electricity supply management and sanitation services were in place, City waste management service Pikitup personnel were also out in full force. Dedicated teams kept park and ride, and park and walk facilities clean. Extra personnel were deployed to keep the city’s streets clean for the duration of the event.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria were crowned the 2013 AFCON champions for the third time after beating the Stallions of Burkina Faso 1-0 in a pulsating game full of missed chances.
Nigerian coach Stephen Keshi became the second man on the continent to win the trophy both as captain and coach since the tournament’s inception in 1957.  The first was Egyptian Mahmoud El Gohary. The last time Nigeria lifted the trophy was in 1994. This was the first time that Burkina Faso went all the way to the final.
Morocco will host the 2015 edition of the African Cup of Nations.