ANC bash lightens Joburg

2014-05-11 15:00

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The ANC last night closed off the streets around its headquarters, Luthuli House in Johannesburg, as it celebrated its election victory.

President Jacob Zuma criticised opposition parties who failed to convince voters that they could run the country.

“Instead of telling us about what they are going to do about this country, they told us about Nkandla. I said many times, be a constructive opposition, the people will listen to you. Not constructive at all,” he said.

He said the ANC was going to work to quicken the pace of delivery in the next administration.

The ANC’s top leadership and its alliance partners were in a jovial mood at the bash, which was attended by thousands of people who braved the cold Joburg night.

Last night’s celebrations came a day after the party’s Gauteng bosses appeared to have misplaced their famous love of a good party.

On Friday night, the year’s first post-election victory celebration, held at Sandton’s Taboo Night Club, was a far cry from the champagne-popping extravaganzas the party’s members in the province usually enjoy.

There wasn’t a victory cigar in sight as a handful of familiar faces popped into the small VIP area reserved for comrades.

Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba was there, along with the deputy minister of higher education, Mduduzi Manana, Gigaba’s spin doctor Mayihlome Tshwete, national executive committee member Zizi Kodwa and Young Communist League leader Buti Manamela.

After the last general elections, a similar event was held at Taboo to celebrate the ANC’s comfortable victory in Gauteng (back in 2009, the party took 64% of the vote).

ANC members who spoke to City Press on condition of anonymity said morale was low after this week’s much lower Gauteng results, and one said they “struggled to find the energy to go partying”.

A Joburg-based member went to bed early on Friday night, saying he was tired, angry and depressed. “We failed to contain the Economic Freedom Fighters fallout.”

Another campaigner from the ANC Youth League in Tshwane said she wanted to attend a victory party on ­Friday but “the mood is just low here in Gauteng”.

She was worried about what would happen in the 2016 local elections, since votes for the ANC in the metros were usually a bit lower than in the general elections.

– Additional reporting by Sabelo Ndlangisa and Carien du Plessis

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