South African politicians are not shy to voice their thoughts and opinions, but some of them do take some time off to support their favourite football teams. Can you think of any?
Fikile Mbalula, who is the Minister of Sports, has made it no secret which Absa Premiership club he supports a he can often be found tweeting about them on social media.
The late Nelson Mandela was, of course, a huge football and rugby lover, and his favourite team was Kaizer Chiefs.
Below is a quick look at five South African politicians and the teams close to their heart.
Julius Malema (EFF Leader) – Orlando Pirates
Fikile Mbalula (Minister of Sports) – Orlando Pirates
Jacob Zuma (President Of South Africa) – Bafana Bafana
Nelson Mandela (Late President Of South Africa) – Kaizer Chiefs
Patricia de Lille (Executive Mayor Of Cape Town) – Ajax Cape Town
bantu holomisa ( President Of UDM ) – Kaizer Chiefs
David Cameron ( Former British Prime Minister ) – Aston Villa
Silvio Berlusconi ( Italy Politician ) – AC Milan
Angela Merkel ( German Chancellor ) – FC Energie Cottbus
Francois Hollande (Former French president ) – AS Monaco
Vladimir Putin probably does not have an awful lot of time for football—particularly in the current climate—but the Russian President is a native of St. Petersburg and is known as a fervent fan of Zenit.
If we were to speculate, we would say his favourite player is Hulk, as both he and the Brazilian enjoy being pictured with their shirts off.
Barack Obama showed his football skills when LA Galaxy visited the White House in 2013, but the US President’s allegiance apparently lays with West Ham.
According to The Telegraph, the POTUS is a long-standing fan of the Hammers, dating back to a visit to London in 2003. Apparently, he will watch Sam Allardyce’s men in action whenever his schedule permits.
Mariano Rajoy became Prime Minister of Spain in 2011. Despite being born and raised in Galicia, he is known as a Real Madrid fan.
In fact, when he took office, Spanish sports newspaper AS revealed that he had been a member of Los Blancos for 25 years.
Former Italian Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister Enrico Letta is, according to the International Business Times, a “mild-mannered Milanfan.”
His support of the Rossoneri might have something to do with the fact that he is the nephew of Silvio Berlusconi’s aide Gianni Letta.
Former British Prime Minister and current Labour MP Gordon Brown was brought up in Kirkcaldy, in the vicinity of Raith Rovers.
Although it is hard to imagine Brown being passionate about anything, he is a passionate fan of the Rovers and once told The Guardian that he followed them from the age of seven or eight.
In 2005, Brown helped secure the club’s future by becoming a partial shareholder.
Shadow Deputy Prime Minister Jack Straw was born in Essex and is utterly devoid of a Lancashire drawl, but he has been the Labour MP for Blackburn since 1979. In what might be a move of political opportunism, he aligned himself with Blackburn Rovers.
Local entrepreneur Jack Walker—the man who bought the club and led it to the top of the Premier League in 1995—made Straw Honorary President of the club in 1998.
Not only is Shadow Secretary of State for Health Andy Burnham a decent player, but he is a lifelong fan of Everton.
Last May the Leigh MP said he would “cry” if probed about David Moyes’ departure to Manchester United. Now, it is probably Moyes doing the crying.
Cristina Kirchner has been president of Argentina since 2007. In addition to backing the Albiceleste, Kirchner is a follower of Primera Division side Club de Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, as she was born in La Plata.
Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva was President of Brazil before the incumbent Dilma Rousseff.
Lula moved to Sao Paolo at a young age, where he developed a love forCorinthians.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was born and raised in the affluent Buckinghamshire village of Chalfont St. Giles, a perfect catchment area for middle class Arsenal fans.
When the Gunners lost to Bayern Munich in the Champions League last season, Clegg told The Metro he was “heartbroken.” Presumably, he feels the same way this week.
Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband was once described as a “nerd” who likes baseball and American Football, but he once claimed to be a “lapsed Leeds Utd fan,” due to his position as MP for Doncaster North.
Ed’s brother Dave is an Arsenal fan, but he famously resigned from his position on Sunderland’s board when the openly fascist Paolo Di Canio was brought in as manager.
Glenda Jackson has won two Academy Awards for Best Actress and is now the MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, so it is fairly safe to say she has led a glamorous life.
Her choice of team, however, is not so glamorous. The 77-year-old was born in The Wirral and shunned the bright lights of Liverpool and Everton to follow Tranmere Rovers.
Former Mexican President and current Partido Accion Nacional member Felipe Calderon was born in Moriela, and is therefore a big fan of Liga MX side Monarcas Morelia.
When they won the Apertura in 2013, Calderon was very quick to tweet his delight.