In the light of some unfounded and over-zealous criticism of South Africa over the last few weeks and months, we found it worthy to publish this simple declaration of love for our country, especially during the emotional and exciting weeks leading up to the FIFA world cup 2010. We found it truely reflects the South African spirit!

By Carol Lazar / published on IOL April 19 2010

Enough already - stop dissing this fantastic country

Carol Lazar is gatvol (fed up) of all the twak (rubbish) being talked about South Africa and the attempts by some cretins overseas to stop would-be travellers from visiting us.

There has been a lot in the local and international media during the past weeks about Julius Malema and Eugene Terre'Blanche. Bad things happen in every country throughout the world and why should we be different?

However, the hype overseas about whether or not South Africa is a safe country to visit is the biggest lot of twaddle around.

South Africa is a fantastic country. Yes, we do have crime but tell me a country in the world that is crime-free? No such place exists. What is more, we've all read about tourists getting murdered in countries as disparate as Australia, the US, Dubai, Britain, India, Hong Kong, Greece... Bad things happen everywhere.

Our country has more to offer than most. We have fantastic cities, a diverse mix of people, game reserves, sanctuaries, nature reserves, an extraordinary coastline of golden beaches, rich marine life, mountains that make the heart sing and deserts that are spectacular in their starkness yet filled with unusual wildlife. We also have fantastic weather where the sun really does shine and the skies are the bluest in the world.

We are an easy-going people with warm, welcoming hearts.

Visitors to South Africa, whether they come for the World Cup or just to holiday, will have the experience of their lives.

Huge numbers have been for other sporting events - think the Lions tour last year, and that didn't just go well, it was a huge success.

Enough now from those who spread doom and gloom and talk about Terre'Blanches and Malemas just waiting to pop out of your suitcase on arrival. It's nonsense.

We are a civilised country with a proud tradition of democracy since the glorious day when apartheid bit the dust. Sure we have problems but they are not unique.

Our airports are not known for the finest service around and yes, disappearing luggage is still a problem. But it is being addressed and authorities are working their butts off to ensure that things improve. They already have. And, luggage aside, anyone flying into the new airports can only be impressed.

I and all my mates have really had enough from miseries who have only bad things to say about South Africa.

Come to our beautiful country and experience it for yourself.

You will find travelling around South Africa enchanting, exciting and fun and you will find South Africans will welcome you as you've never been welcomed before.