ANC paints Durban yellow, black and green

2010-09-21 00:00

THE city of Durban was painted in ANC colours as 2 000 delegates from the country’s nine provinces made their way to the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (ICC) for the national general council (NGC).

Some of the streets close to the venue of the NGC had some of their lanes closed to accommodate the delegates.

Trees at Stalwart Simelane and Dr AB Xuma Streets were decorated in the party colours — black, yellow and green — while big banners read “ANC-KZN welcomes you delegates”.

Walnut Road, next to the Hilton Hotel, was totally closed and big tents were erected on the road where commissions from the conference will take place.

People looked out from their buildings as delegates started coming through the venue under the watchful eye of a heavy police contingent from both the South African Police Force (SAPF) and the Durban Metro Police.

Cars went through a security checkpoint as explosives teams from the SAPF used sniffer dogs to detect any potential threats.

Inside the conference venue, five big screens could be seen as pictures of late and living legends of the movement, such as Oliver Tambo and Nelson Mandela, adorned the walls.

Delegates donned yellow and black golf-shirts and caps made especially for the NGC.

The meeting started slowly with little excitement and a lack of activity until a small group of about 10 delegates and marshals sung a song that said amandla asemasebeni (power is in the branches of the ANC).

Shortly afterwards, a larger group of delegates joined in as they prepared to enter the conference hall.

Flags of the ANC were waved high as marshals tried in vain to plead with delegates to form lines while entering the venue.

At 9.10 am delegates showed their impatience as they pushed through the doors to the venue while marshals tried in vain to control them.

Meanwhile, the first family, which included Zuma’s three wives and his fiancée, made their way in at exactly 10 am, a minute before party president Jacob Zuma made his grand entrance wearing a yellow golf shirt and a black and yellow leather jacket.

Delegates burst into a song about the late party struggle hero Solomon Mahlangu as they welcomed Zuma into the conference. This was followed by his political report that lasted close to two hours, after which the party’s president got a standing ovation.

Meanwhile, frustrated journalists wrote frantically on their laps as there was no sign of the promised media room.

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