PE residents boo Zuma but ANC supporters gather to welcome him

2014-03-15 16:16

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President Jacob Zuma was booed and heckled by angry Port Elizabeth residents who bemoaned the ANC’s failure to keep its promises.

Zuma, who was flanked by ANC heavyweights in the Eastern Cape, including provincial chairperson Phumulo Masualle and Premier Noxolo Kiviet, was received by a hostile crowd in Jacksonville during a door-to-door campaign today.

The president’s security team had its hands full trying to keep the angry group at bay.

One of the residents said he was disappointed that the ANC president saw fit to come to the area on the eve of elections.

“Why should we listen to him now? We have been complaining about the poor service delivery here and nobody listened to us. Now that they want our votes, we should listen to them and pretend all is well. That is not right. I’m not going to vote for the ANC,” said a visibly irate John Fillies.

“We are victims of a corrupt state. We live in shacks while those we voted for are living in luxury. Zuma should not have come here. We don’t want him here, he is not welcome in Jacksonville until we have decent houses like other people.”

Alphen Cornelius echoed Fillies’ view: “We are tired of empty promises on the eve of each election. We want to be taken seriously. We are living in inhumane conditions here in Jacksonville yet people want to come and campaign here.”

Cornelius said he was forced to sleep underneath plastic bags because his RDP house was leaking.

A placard displayed in Jacksonville, Port Elizabeth, reads: Our people are tired of your promises. We cannot accept you. Go away. Picture: Lubabalo Ngcukana/Twitter

Meanwhile, Zuma was welcomed by a jovial crowd of ANC supporters and volunteers at the Nelson Mandela Peace Park in Motherwell, where he had a mini-rally.

Zuma called on those who had left the ANC and started their own political parties to come back “home” where their skills would be utilised.

“It’s cold outside the ANC. Come back, please, we are pleading with you to come back home because the ANC is the only home where you belong. The ANC will rule until that man [Jesus] comes back,” Zuma said to wild applause.

The president urged party volunteers to defend the ruling party against those who wanted to take the Nelson Mandela Bay metro away from the ANC.

“Govan Mbeki and Raymond Mhlaba come from here. Their bones would shake from the grave if we allow this town to be governed by anybody other than the ANC,” Zuma said.

He said the ANC was the only party that had programmes to better the lives of the country’s citizens and took a jibe at opposition parties, saying they offered no alternative policies.

He said other parties were making useless promises even though they knew they would never win an election and that they were in it just to be voted in so they could warm chairs in Parliament.

“The other parties are just taking too much. They have no substance, they are howling. Do not listen to them. They are wasting your time and disrupting the progress we have made in the past 20 years,” he said, adding that his party had gained a lot of experience during its 20 years in power.

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