Heads of state flocking to ANC bash

2012-01-04 22:18
Bloemfontein - The African National Congress expects 46 heads of state at its 100th anniversary bash this weekend, but isn't sure its iconic leader Nelson Mandela will attend, the party said on Wednesday.

"We continue to hope, but that's not an issue you can ever finalise until the very last moment because the spirit must also move the old man," ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete told journalists.

At 93 and increasingly frail, Mandela has not been seen in public since July 2010 where he delighted fans at the World Cup final with a surprise appearance.

After a health scare in January 2011, he retired to his rural childhood village.

The democratic hero's family will attend, alongside heads of state, former leaders and members of the anti-apartheid movement, said Mbete.

The party expects 46 heads of state to attend the three days of celebrations that start Friday, with 100 000 supporters expected to flood into the normally placid central city of Bloemfontein.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, Nigeria's Goodluck Jonathan and Uganda's Yoweri Museveni are among leaders that have confirmed attendance for the anniversary of the party which has been in power the fall of apartheid in 1994.

Events include a golf tournament, a ritual cleansing ceremony and animal sacrifice at the church where the party was founded in 1912. President Jacob Zuma is expected to give a speech on Sunday.

Former president Thabo Mbeki, who the party removed from office just months before the end of his second term, will attend, as will Nobel Peace Prize winner, retired archbishop Desmond Tutu, who has sharply criticised the ANC in power.

Read more on:    anc  |  thabo mbeki  |  yoweri museveni  |  robert mugabe  |  nelson mandela  |  desmond tutu  |  goodluck jonathan  |  bloemfontein  |  anc centenary

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Hurricanes, earthquakes and floods – What climate change really means for us

Climate change doesn't just mean melting ice caps it has devastating effects on global weather.



China's air pollution at doomsday levels
Moving short film on ivory trade
10 Tips for Greener Shopping
How safe are your baby products?

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

The pace may be slow today and you may struggle to get things off the ground level, but it is important to focus on the structure...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.