ANC commemorating 60 years of the Freedom Charter

2015-06-26 12:28
ANC supporters warmly welcome party members and supporters attending the event at Walter Sisulu Square. (Genevieve Quintal, News24)

ANC supporters warmly welcome party members and supporters attending the event at Walter Sisulu Square. (Genevieve Quintal, News24)

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Johannesburg - The ANC's top officials and the Cuban Five arrived to loud cheers in Kliptown, Soweto on Friday for the commemoration of 60 years since the Freedom Charter was signed.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, dressed in an ANC leather jacket, was also warmly welcomed by party members and supporters attending the event in a tent set up at Walter Sisulu Square, the site where the Freedom Charter was adopted.

President Jacob Zuma arrived just after midday.

The five former Cuban intelligence officers arrived in South Africa earlier this week. They were convicted in 2001 on various charges, including conspiracy to commit espionage. One of the Cuban Five was released in 2011, one in February 2014, and the remaining three in December of the same year.

The final release followed an agreement between US President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro to improve the relationship between the two countries.

The commemoration came the day after President Jacob Zuma released the Marikana report, which exonerated Ramaphosa from any involvement in the killing of 34 miners on August 16, 2012.

Ministers in attendance

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe, his deputy Jessie Duarte, national chairperson Baleka Mbete and treasurer general Zweli Mkhize were present.

ANC national executive committee member Tony Yengeni, Deputy Agriculture Minister Bheki Cele, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, and SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande were among those attending the commemoration.

ANC stalwarts Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Ahmed Kathrada were also in attendance.

A DJ entertained the crowd who danced and clapped to the music. The majority of them were dressed in white or yellow ANC T-shirts which had "26 June 2015, 60 years of the Freedom Charter, The ANC lives, the ANC leads" printed on them.

Each person was also given a paper ANC flag which they raised in the air while they sang and danced.

ANC Gauteng chairperson Paul Mashatile is expected to address the crowd and Zuma will give the keynote address.

ANC Freedom Charter event

Cyril Ramaphosa is greeted by the crowd at Walter Sisulu Square. (Genevieve Quintal, News24)

Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  johannesburg

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