Smiling Zuma arrives to cheers at FNB stadium manifesto launch

2016-06-04 16:10
Supporters gather at the FNB Stadium ahead of the party’s Gauteng manifesto launch. (Mpho Raborife, News24)

Supporters gather at the FNB Stadium ahead of the party’s Gauteng manifesto launch. (Mpho Raborife, News24)

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Johannesburg - A smiling President Jacob Zuma arrived to cheers from the crowd at the FNB stadium for the ANC’s Gauteng manifesto launch on Saturday afternoon.

At its peak, the stadium appeared to be filled to about two-thirds of its capacity, but as the musical entertainment ended and alliance partners began delivering messages of support for the ruling party, some of those gathered began to leave the stadium for the fields outside.

The SA National Civics Organisation's Gauteng chairperson, Chris Madimetja, fired the first shots in support of the ANC when he told the gathered crowd that no other party stood a chance of governing any metro in the province.

"The DA must never think of bringing their (Johannesburg mayoral candidate) Herman Mashaba here. This is not a hair salon, this is a construction site to improve the lives of our people," he told about 65 000 ANC supporters in FNB Stadium in Soweto on Saturday afternoon.

Madimetja said Sanco would not contest elections, but would campaign for the ANC.

"We are all behind the ANC, which remains the only organisation that cares about us. There is no other political party that will govern any metro in our lifetime in this province."

He vowed that the ANC would "even win Midvaal", which is currently under DA control.

'Enemies of the ANC are targeting the movement'

Provincial secretary of the SA Communist Party Jacob Mamabolo said that, despite some communists claiming they were contesting the ANC in the province, the SACP was behind the ANC ahead of the August 3 elections.

"We know there are people who are claiming to be independent candidates, and claiming to be standing on behalf of the party. They have stolen our logos, our names, but we want to ensure you, the SACP fully supports the ANC."

He said the ANC was responsible for job creation, education, healthcare and other services, and the SACP would mobilise its structures for the elections.

"Enemies of the ANC are targeting the movement," he said, adding activists should come out in August to "defend" the ANC.

Gauteng ANC chairperson Paul Mashatile spoke just before President Jacob Zuma took the podium, vowing that "in the coming five years of local government, (the ANC) will work even harder with local communities to build stronger local government".

The event started more than three hours late after organisers struggled to fill the 94 000-seater stadium.

It eventually started with the stadium about two-thirds full, even though Premier David Makhura earlier said more than 80 000 people had gone through the stadium’s turnstiles.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  johannesburg  |  anc

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