Tight security delays ANC event at North West stadium

2016-01-09 11:37
President Zuma dancing at the ANC's 104th anniversary bash. (Genevieve Quintal, News24)

President Zuma dancing at the ANC's 104th anniversary bash. (Genevieve Quintal, News24)

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Rustenburg - Tight security at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in the North West delayed the start of the ANC's January 8th statement on Saturday.

"The problem is the security is stopping so many buses and people are stuck," North West ANC chairperson Supra Mahumapelo said.

"We have spoken to the [police] commissioner to say, 'Yes, security is important but can we allow people quickly to come through'."

Supporters attending the event were being offloaded far from the stadium and had to walk a few kilometres in the heat.

"We said to them [the police] they must be flexible... they will now free up those buses."

Mahumapelo said police were worried that there may be "people intending to do other criminal things".

However, things had been peaceful with no incidences. 

The Economic Freedom Fighters have a strong presence in the North West and there were fears that some would try to disrupt Saturday's event.

"There are people who were saying there is going to be war, people are going to fight," said Mahumapelo.

"It has been peaceful for the morning, from 06:00 people have been walking they are in a jolly mood. Nobody is fighting. People are taking care of themselves, they are taking water. We said to them they must drink water on a regular basis because as soon as they become dehydrated we will have problems."

He said medical services were on standby to deal with any eventuality.

The ANC was celebrating its 104th anniversary in the North West. It's official birthday was on Friday.

Mahumapelo said the ANC was confident it would fill the 44 530 capacity stadium with some even having to be left outside.

He said about 80 000 people were expected.

"We are excited about the fact that people have come from all over the country.

"Nobody forced them to come here they came voluntarily saying they want to celebrate with the ANC. Some of them said, 'We never slept but we do it once a year just to come and celebrate this anniversary of the ANC'. But thirdly they are saying we want to listen to the president's message so that from here we can carry the president's message and take it back to our structures on the ground," said Mahumapelo.

Read more on:    anc  |  eff  |  politics

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