Now is the time to celebrate - Mantashe

2017-01-06 15:26
African National Congress bigwigs have descended on Soweto’s famous Vilakazi Street as part of celebrations to mark the party's 105th birthday. (News24)

African National Congress bigwigs have descended on Soweto’s famous Vilakazi Street as part of celebrations to mark the party's 105th birthday. (News24)

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Johannesburg – African National Congress bigwigs have descended on Soweto’s famous Vilakazi Street as part of celebrations to mark the party's 105th birthday.

Hundreds of party supporters clad in party colours have lined the historically significant street where former president Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu once lived.

The party is holding its January 8 statement a stone's throw away at the Orlando Stadium on Sunday.

The mood was festive, with traditional dancers, trumpeters and tourists in the street.

Party supporters were clamouring to take pictures with the party leadership. Joining the celebration on Vilakazi Street were Winnie Madikizela- Mandela, former Robben Island prisoner and chair of the ANC's integrity committee Andrew Mlangeni, MP Paul Mashatile, and  party treasurer Zweli Mkhize.

READ: You are a traitor if you go to ANC birthday celebrations - Malema

Earlier, secretary general Gwede Mantashe told reporters that the ANC was over a difficult period, an apparent reference to their dismal performance during the 2016 local government elections.

"It is a celebratory event, not a mourning event. We are going to sing, we are going to dance, President Jacob Zuma will speak," Mantashe said.

NEC leaders have been criss-crossing the province encouraging people to attend the event. Some have expressed confidence that they will fill the 40 000-seater stadium.

It is the first major ANC event in Gauteng since it lost the Tshwane and Johannesburg metros, and the Mogale City municipality. It is still governing Ekurhuleni, in a coalition with the African Independent Congress.

Mantashe also urged people not to be put off from attending the event by the expected rains over the weekend.

"We are expecting that it will rain, that is what forecasters said. We are appealing to our people to come in numbers, but rain must not stop us from celebrating milestones."

Read more on:    anc  |  gwede mantashe  |  johannesburg  |  soweto  |  politics

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