President Jacob Zuma addressing Thaba Nchu residents. (Jeanette Chabalala)
Bloemfontein - President Jacob Zuma on Saturday welcomed more than 600 new members who left the EFF, Cope and DA at a mass meeting in Thaba Nchu in the Free State.
"Free State has always been the home of the ANC and this is where the party was born," Zuma told hundreds of local residents wearing ANC t-Shirts.
"Opposition parties can't change people's lives no matter what they say. All that they can ever be is members of parliament," he added.
Among those who joined the party were former DA and Cope councillors who claimed they were not happy with their former parties.
About 157 of the newcomers were from the Democratic Alliance while, 347 from the Economic Freedom Front and 152 from the Congress of the People.
Former Cope councillor Mancane Rigala said he only originally left the ANC out of anger.
"I am happy to have moved back. Sometimes we leave the organisation based on anger but it's not easy being on the opposition bench. You feel like your ancestors have turned against you," he said.
Former DA councillor Ernest Tobie said one of the reasons he decided to join the ANC was that the DA "is a racial party and uses blacks for their own interests".
"Councillors who are actually putting in the work in the party are black and we don't get recognised," he said.
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