ANC’s Mangaung storm in a teacup

2012-12-20 00:00

IT was a proverbial storm in a teacup.

A massive tempest predicted by climatologists failed to hit Mangaung yesterday.

Instead, dark clouds hung over the Free State University campus where the ANC’s 53rd conference was being held.

There was a smattering of rain, which saw a few delegates run for cover.

The weather bureau advised the ANC last week that a major storm would form over Mangaung while the elective conference was taking place.

As clouds gathered and the sky darkened, the organisers decided discretion was the better part of valour and temporarily suspended the main plenary session, held in a massive marquee.

Delegates were warned to take cover and return to their residences or the surrounding buildings on campus.

By 6.30 pm the storm had blown over and the conference resumed.

The metaphor of a party experiencing an internal storm that had failed to drive the forces of change was not lost on journalists covering the event.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe was not amused when he was asked if the storm was not “a curse by ANC ancestors” or an omen for internal battles that lay ahead following President Jacob Zuma’s re-election on Tuesday and the routing of the Force of Change camp.

“Rain is a blessing and a storm is rain in a different form,” retorted Mantashe.

ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu declared that the storm was no laughing matter.

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