Tears run at OR Tambo Games 2014

Isak Steyl Stadium - Modubi Morake, a soccer player for ELM, working at the waste department wept uncontrollably after Emfuleni Local Municipality soccer team was knocked out by Merafong Local Municipality team in the quarter finals of the men' soccer finals during the O.R. Tambo games recently. Emotions were very high and the game was tense because Emfuleni had earlier beaten the same team 3-0 in the early stages of the competition.

After uncharacteristically finishing the same third positions in the OR Tambo Inter-Municipal Games in 2012 and failing to make an impact last year, Emfuleni Local Municipality wanted to reclaim the lost ground and impose itself as the leader in these games.

“I wanted to win this trophy so badly. I have dedicated my time, my soul to win this tournament for the name and badge of Emfuleni Local Municipality”, said the tearful Morake

Emfuleni Local Municipality captured third place overall during the eighth edition of the competition, hosted by Sedibeng District Municipality at the Vaal University sporting fields.

“We took position three,” Shaka Radebe, the MMC of Sport and Recreation, exclaimed after the official results were announced.

Twelve Gauteng municipalities took part in the games, initiated by the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) in 2006 to enable employees and councilors of all Gauteng's municipalities to come together and participate in various sporting codes.

“I feel betrayed by my team mates because I wanted to win this tournament in our home soil. It is a prestige tournament for us players”, Morake explained

For Emfuleni Local Municipality, this annual spectacle is of significant importance in that it speaks to its quarterly wellness and healthy lifestyle programme – initiated by MMC: Corporate Services, Cllr Khethiwe Ntombela – through which it seeks to deal decisively with chronic diseases and conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart ailments.

“We took position three”, Shaka Radebe, the MMC of Sport and Recreation, exclaimed after the official results were announced.

The City of Joburg proved too strong for most of the oppositions this time around, winning most of the categories. It was a day of intense competition, with employees showing boundless energy and enthusiasm.

By the end of the grueling day, Joburg was crowned the overall winner, Ekurhuleni came second and Emfuleni third.

The Emfuleni Local Municipality choir came in handy to console the team with their soothing songs. They sang their hearts out in motivating their boys. The other participating municipalities were Sedibeng District municipality which came 12th position overall, Lesedi Local Municipality, Metsweding District Municipality, Midvaal Local Municipality, Mogale City Local Municipality, Westonaria Local Municipality, Efulweni Local Municipality, City of Tshwane and Merafong Local Municipality.

The games were named after and held in honour of the late African National Congress struggle stalwart Oliver Reginald Tambo. The games also coincide with his birth month.

Photos available here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/125299158@N02/sets/72157649016340701/

By Stanley Gaba

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