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By Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor

WATCH: Malema, Lesufi among South Africans welcoming Bafana at OR Tambo Airport

Addressing the crowd, captain Ronwen Williams thanked South Africans for their support, and the team's fighting spirit.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema and Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi joined the scores of South Africans at the OR Tambo International Airport to give Bafana Bafana a hero’s welcome on Wednesday morning.

Bafana returned home after securing the bronze medal in a penalty shootout against DR Congo on Saturday at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan.

Addressing the crowd, captain Ronwen Williams thanked South Africans for their support, and the team’s fighting spirit.

“The brotherhood we have in this team, the spirit amongst each other is just amazing and I think that is one of the reasons why we were so successful this tournament,” said Williams.

ALSO READ: Broos vows work is not yet done after Bafana AFCON bronze

“We were together, we were united. In South Africa, we say ubuntu, and that’s exactly what we had, with together. This led us when things were tough. Just to stick together. It’s amazing to be part of such an amazing group, special group. They make my job so much easier as a captain.”

Coach Hugo Broos said what Bafana achieved at Afcon “still feels unreal”.

“[Beating DR Congo] was a moment of intense joy, because it was a tough game. Before, we played Morocco and you’re not sure if you’re going to win it. We played a fantastic game and the emotions were too big at that moment,” said Broos.

ALSO READ: Williams, Bafana scoop AFCON awards

“All over it was good. We played a good game and the support from the country was amazing. I’m very proud of this team. This is a fantastic team.”

South Africans took advantage of the free Gautrain train service offered to to Bafana Bafana supporters travelling to and from OR Tambo International Airport.

Gautrain announced on Tuesday that the free service would be offered, starting with the first train departing each station to the airport until 09:30am only.

The free train service was available from all Gautrain stations for persons wearing Bafana Bafana gear or colours or carrying a South African flag/merchandise without luggage.

ALSO READ: Five takeaways from Bafana’s AFCON campaign

“As Gautrain, we join the nation in celebrating Bafana Bafana for flying the South African flag high at the Africa Cup of Nations tournament. We encourage South Africans to get onboard the Gautrain in numbers, let’s give our national team a warm welcome in true South African style,” says Gautrain Management Agency CEO, Tshepo Kgobe.

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