When MEC for Culture, Sports and Recreation, Thandi Shongwe and her entourage welcomed back Paralympic double gold champion, Ntando Mahlangu at the O.R Tambo International Airport on Monday afternoon, he declared: “I did it for South Africa and my people, especially the last jump I executed.”
The young athlete from Mpumalanga province won two gold medals at the Paralympics. Ntando came first in long jump and 200 meters, respectively at the Paralympic Games held in Tokyo, Japan. “We are excited to welcome back our Olympic Champion who represented not only Mpumalanga, but South Africa as a whole. The people of Mpumalanga were looking forward to his return and the Department was ready to welcome him back with huge applause,” said Shongwe.
Shongwe was accompanied by the department’s HOD, Godfrey Ntombela, Thembisile Hani Local Municipality’s executive mayor, Nomsa Mtsweni where Ntando originates from, including his mother, family, traditional leaders from KwaNdebele, all of whom joined Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa formarley welcome the champion home.
Terminal A arrivals was dominated by Mpumalangans only, mostly clad in Ndebele traditional attires, singing and dancing, including Ntando’s school mates who reverberated through the corridors of the airport in celebration of the top performance by Ntando.
However, Mthethwa also announced that national government would incentivise the likes of Ntando. He will receive R450 000 for each gold medal. A whopping R900 000 will fill his pockets.
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