Cape Town’s Mayor has officially come out in support of the city’s 2009 Gay Pride Festival, taking place next month.

In a letter dated January 16, and from the Office of the Executive Mayor, Hellen Zille welcomed visitors to the annual festival which celebrates the gay and lesbian community.

“I would also like to thank the organisers for making this an annual institution for the enjoyment of citizens and tourists,” she wrote.

“This event adds to the diversity that makes our city a leader in the democratic values of the new South Africa. And, together with the Cape Town Jazz Festival, the Tweede Nuwe Jaar parades and other major events, the Cape Town Pride Festival is helping to establish our city as a major cultural capital on the African continent.”

Zille concluded by writing: “I trust that this year we will see a bigger turn-out than ever before for the film festival, art exhibitions, celebrations, seminars and workshops. I wish everyone a successful event for the weeks ahead.”

Last year, Zille – who is also leader of the Democratic Alliance – received an international award as the best mayor in the world for 2008. The 2009 Cape Town Pride Festival takes place from 14 February to 1 March.

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