Leave ANC at your peril - Zuma
Buks Viljoen, Beeld
Nelspruit - Any member of the ANC who dares to leave the party will be exposed by "the ancestors" and "will get sick", President Jacob Zuma told about 30 000 people on Sunday.
Zuma was speaking during a recruitment campaign at the Kamhlushwa stadium in Tonga (near Komatipoort) in Mpumalanga.
Most of the people came from rural areas in Mpumalanga's Onderberg near Malelane, one of the poorest communities in the province.
Among others, Zuma referred to breakaway groups such as Cope, saying the problems Cope is currently experiencing is proof that "the ancestors are making them sick".
"Such groups will never be able to exist outside the ANC; they will die," said Zuma.
He said the ANC is stronger than ever, and despite several attempts to sabotage the party in the past, no-one will succeed in undermining the ANC.
"The ANC will exist forever. If you try to harm the party, the ancestors will expose you."
Zuma was the guest speaker on Sunday during the party's Imvuselelo (revival) campaign.
ANC aims for 1m members
Zuma says the ANC hopes that by 2012, when the party celebrates its 100th anniversary, party membership will exceed the one million mark.
The campaign was launched when 15 members - former UDM members, according to the ANC - were inducted into the ANC as new members on Sunday.
Senior party officials who attended the gathering include ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza, and ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema.
Contrary to Zuma's visit to Belfour on Saturday, where angry residents repeatedly drowned out his voice with their shouts and interrupted his speech, the mood in Kamhlushwa on Sunday was jovial.