Thousands expected at ANC's 100th bash

2012-01-02 14:15
Johannesburg - The ruling ANC marks its 100th anniversary this week with a huge celebration attended by dozens of heads of state and buoyed by an unbroken 17 years in power since the end of apartheid.

More than 100 000 people are expected in Bloemfontein, where the South African Native National Congress was founded on January 08 1912. It was renamed the African National Congress in 1923.

President Jacob Zuma will pay tribute to Nelson Mandela and other heroes of the anti-apartheid struggle in a speech at the city's football stadium wrapping up three days of festivities on Sunday.

The celebrations include a traditional ceremony, a golf tournament, concerts and gala dinner. Zuma is also expected to light a centenary flame, which will tour South Africa as a symbol of the resistance against apartheid.

A Sunday service will be held in the Wesleyan church building where the movement was born. The South African post office will also release a commemorative stamp to celebrate Africa's oldest liberation movement.

The guest list has not been made public, but the party has said it invited comrades that helped its struggle against white minority rule. Representatives of Scandinavian anti-apartheid movements and of India's ruling Congress Party are expected, as well as dignitaries of the countries that supported the ANC in exile from South Africa from 1960 to 1990.

Independent courts

"They are coming to South Africa to congratulate not just the ruling party, but all South Africans on the strides that the country and its people have made in destroying colonial oppression and apartheid, and promoting reconciliation and nation building," Zuma said in his New Year address.

But critics have voiced concerns about the ANC's stranglehold on parliament - where it holds 264 of the 400 seats - and its bucking against the constraints the law imposes on its powers.

In the southern African region, Angola, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia have suffered under one-party regimes imposed by independence leaders, though most later allowed multi-party democracy.

Meanwhile, the neighbouring Zimbabwe liberation movement of President Robert Mugabe, Zanu-PF, has left little freedom to opposition parties, even as it shares power in a unity government following disputed 2008 polls.

Ever the loyal friend, the ANC maintained strong links with its brothers in arms with dubious democratic records like the late Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, while back home Nelson Mandela's party installed one of the most liberal constitutions in the world after sweeping to a historic victory in the first free elections in 1994.

Twelve other parties are represented in Parliament, and the country enjoys independent courts and a free and vocal media.

Influential posts


But Zuma has come in for criticism for placing political allies in influential posts in state prosecuting authorities and the president has several times warned the judiciary from hampering the work of government.

A recent law allowing for journalists to be jailed for up to 25 years for publishing classified information has soured relations with the media.

The law defines classification vaguely, leaving the media worried about prosecution if it continues exposing corruption scandals that regularly taint the ANC and its ministers.

The ANC's sheer size means internal dissension becomes a national issue as a diverse membership seesaws between liberal policies and Marxist tendencies.

Some of Zuma's lieutenants have plotted against him, and he has been openly challenged by the ANC Youth League under the firebrand leadership of Julius Malema. The party suspended Malema for ill-discipline in November, but he has appealed the decision.

The centenary festivities effectively are a preview of the party's next leadership conference in December. Zuma hopes to win a second term as ANC head, which will enable him to stay on as state president after 2014 general elections.

- SAPA
Read more on:    anc  |  nelson mandela  |  julius malema  |  jacob zuma  |  bloemfontein  |  politics
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

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
141 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
 

Inside News24

 
/Africa
 

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose

A device that converts nose breaths into speech will open new doors for people with Parkinson’s or motor neuron disease.

 
 

For chic geeks...

It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real
Check out the speed of this robo-cheetah!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may take extra pride in your work today. You have a need to shine and be respected so you may put the extra effort and TLC...read more

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

Hello 

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.

Settings

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.