(Paul Herman, News24, file)
Pretoria - The ANC has cancelled an elections victory party scheduled for Saturday afternoon after a worse than expected show in the local government elections in Gauteng.
News24 has learnt that a message was doing the rounds among ANC members on WhatsApp saying that the party’s provincial secretary, Hope Papo, had informed its members here that ANC provincial officials “have had a reflection on the event planned for this afternoon” at Luthuli House, and together with national leaders “resolved to cancel for today”.
“New arrangements will be announced later,” the message said.
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Papo, however, denied that Gauteng officials had stepped in, saying “there was no intervention by us because it was a national gathering”.
ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa, however, claimed not to know anything about a planned party when asked about it on Saturday morning.
In a subsequent statement, he said the information about the victory party was "incorrect and pure conjecture".
He said: "Although the ANC traditionally holds a function at the end of an election to thank our volunteers, members and staff for their efforts during the campaign, no concrete plans had yet been made in this regard.
"The possibility was discussed in the course of elections planning and tentative arrangements made, but no firm decision taken."
He said the party's leadership and membership had been "immersed" in elections campaigning and in the results process.
"As a result, the holding of a post-election function has not been prioritised. There is, therefore, no ANC 'Victory Party' scheduled today," he said.
ANC below 50% in Gauteng metros
The ANC has dropped to below 50% in all three metros in the province, losing in Tshwane with 41.2% as opposed to the DA’s 43.1%.
In Ekurhuleni the ANC unexpectedly dropped below 50% to get just over 49%, while in Johannesburg, with a few voting districts still to be finalised, the ANC had dropped to 42.5% compared with the DA’s 40.8%.
The ANC Youth League in Gauteng earlier sent out a statement saying it “notes that victory parties are planned throughout the country” with the main one happening at Luthuli House in Johannesburg.
“This is a metro we have performed poorly in as a party, the economic hub of the country and continent. In light of the devastating election outcomes, the ANCYL will not be attending nor organising any victory party, but will rather be engaged in a drastic programme of rebuilding and strengthening structures and our support on the ground,” it said.
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