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Thursday, November 11, 1999 Published at 14:06 GMT


World: Africa

Township welcome for Queen

The Queen chatted with cricketing hopefuls

The Queen has met more than 200 young cricketers during a visit to South African township during her state tour of the country.

She walked around the grounds of the Alexandra Oval cricket ground, near Johannesburg, with South African cricket chief Ali Bacher and sports minister Ngconde Balfour to talk to some of the promising players.

She also met Andy Caddick and Alex Taylor of the touring England cricket team.

After chatting with the players, she left for a private reception before heading off for Durban for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.


The BBC's Nicholas Witchell: "After the state banquets, a welcome from a township"
Massanio Welcome, one of the young cricketers who spoke to the Queen, said: "She asked me how often I came here and whether I was a batsman or fielder.

"I told her I come every day and I bat and field."

Adult learning

The Queen was given a warm welcome by children at Alexandra's Skeen Primary School who cheered and sang as the royal party arrived.

She also visited the Alex Adult Education Centre, one of the establishments to benefit from the £23m the UK has donated to help adult learning in South Africa since the apartheid regime ended in 1994.

After attending the Commonwealth meeting, the Queen is due in neighbouring Mozambique on Monday, the first time a British monarch will have made an official visit to that country.

Earlier in her South African visit, the Queen met president Thabo Mbeki and former president Nelson Mandela.

At a state banquet on Wednesday, she expressed sorrow over the loss of life and suffering on both sides of the Boer War between Britain and Afrikaners at the turn of the century.

There have been calls from some Afrikaners for the Queen to apologise over the war, and there was a small protest at the official ceremony welcoming her to South Africa on Wednesday morning.





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