ANC concert gets under way

2012-01-07 14:44
Bloemfontein - Guests were trickling in to the Mangaung outdoor sports centre on Saturday, where a multicultural concert was due to take place in celebration of the ANC's 100th anniversary.

Among the first to arrive at the centre in Rocklands township, was a group of women in their black and white church attire, complimented with their leopard skin hats. Others wore blue and white uniforms.

Some cultural groups, from as far as the Eastern Cape, arrived in their traditional attire carrying drums. They would be performing later in the day.

After a delay of nearly two hours, actor and musician Joe Mafela kicked off the event at 11:40 by singing one of his hit songs Shebeleza (Congo Mama) from the tribute album No Easy Walk to Freedom.

Celebrating end of apartheid

The album celebrates the release of former president Nelson Mandela from Robben Island and the end of apartheid.

Mafela, programme director for the day, repeatedly tried to liven up the few people that had arrived with repeated chants of "Viva ANC", said he had "goose pimples" thinking about just how far the party had come.

The ANC celebrates 100 years of existence with the concert forming part of celebrations.

The by invitation-only event would also see a performance by a Marimba band among others. A huge tent donned with an ANC flag was erected at the sports centre and overlooked two marquees with a number of chairs covered in the party's colours: green, gold and black.

Over a thousand people had been expected. However, many of the chairs remained empty.

Actor Lilian Dube and science and technology Minister Naledi Pandor and Free State premier Ace Magashule were among those who attended the event.

Crowds gathered at the entrance hoping to be let in, but a number of police officers deployed made sure they did not come close.

Read more on:    anc  |  bloemfontein  |  anc centenary  |  politics

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