Hero's welcome for Zuma at ANC anniversary

2015-01-10 13:22
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and President Jacob Zuma arrive at Cape Town Stadium for the ANC's 103rd anniversary celebration. (Jerusha Sukhdeo-Raath, News24)

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and President Jacob Zuma arrive at Cape Town Stadium for the ANC's 103rd anniversary celebration. (Jerusha Sukhdeo-Raath, News24)

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Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma received a hero's welcome from some 40 000 ANC supporters at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday as the party celebrated its 103rd anniversary on opposition turf.

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Zuma and ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa did a lap of the stadium and waved to supporters before the formal programme kicked off around noon with the national anthem and prayers.

Security was tight with scores of official bodyguards, and members of other security forces surrounding Zuma.

He was greeted by several ANC heavyweights as he made his way onto the stage.

A praise singer told the crowd he needed to exorcise the spirit of Dutch coloniser Jan van Riebeeck before the rally could get under way.

"I have to clear the spirit of Jan van Riebeeck from this place first."

ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete proceeded to open the official programme of the celebrations, before the national anthem was sung.

Religious leaders were called to the stage to bless the event.

Leaders of the ANC Youth League, the ANC Women's League, the Veterans League, the SA National Civics Organisation, the Congress of SA Trade Unions, and the SA Communist Party delivered messages of support, before Zuma started delivering the ANC's January 8 statement shortly after 13:00.

On Friday night, at an ANC fundraiser, Zuma had revisited the country's colonial history, telling some of the country's wealthiest "all the trouble began" in 1652 when Van Riebeeck landed in the Cape.

He went on to say the African National Congress had a superior claim to power to other political parties because it was formed by a united front of the country's indigenous people to vanquish white colonial rule.

Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma  |  cape town  |  politics

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