President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency Jacob Zuma and his wife, Mrs. Nompumelelo MaNtuli Zuma, arrived in the island at about 9:00 am this morning (Aug. 6), to participate in the country’s Independence celebrations.
The President and his wife should have arrived on Sunday (Aug. 5), for a two-day State visit, but those plans had to be amended due to the threat of Tropical Storm Ernesto.
A 21-gun salute from the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) welcomed the arrival of the aircraft at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, and members of the Cabinet, were on hand to greet them.
Mrs. Zuma was presented with a bouquet by St. Richard’s Primary School student, Arianne Smith, who received the highest score in the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), among primary and all-age schools.
The President then inspected a Guard of Honour furnished by the First Battalion, Jamaica Regiment, before departing for a courtesy call on Governor General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen at King’s House.
President Zuma will hold bilateral talks with the Prime Minister, before a joint press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister. He will participate in the Independence Grand Gala at the National Stadium, which is scheduled to get underway at 6:30 pm.
The President and his wife depart the island at about 10:00 pm.