No room for bickering at centenary - Mbalula
Thaba Nchu - ANC members must avoid discussing party conference issues during the ANC's centenary celebrations in Bloemfontein over the weekend, national executive member Fikile Mbalula said on Friday.
“Don’t have mob psychology. Go to Mangaung with an open heart. That time [for raising conference issues] is coming and you must be ready,” he told a crowd at an ANC Youth League mini-rally in Thaba Nchu outside Bloemfontein.
Mbalula spoke of “many thugs” who for years had tried to destroy the ANC but failed.
He told the crowd to go to Mangaung to celebrate the 100 years of the ANC’s existence and ignore "Mickey Mouse political parties" who questioned the millions that would be spent in the process.
“Daai tshelete is fokol [that money is nothing].”
Reports suggested that taxpayers would fork out more than R400m for the ANC's centenary birthday celebrations in the Free State if spending on infrastructure was included.
This cost was reportedly in addition to at least R100m budgeted by the ANC at national level.
ANC’s national chairperson Baleka Mbete had said criticism of the R100m the ANC was to spend on its centenary celebrations was unfair.
Mbethe said people should rather focus on the history and heritage that the celebrations would represent than on the cost.
About 100 000 people were expected to attend the main celebration on January 08 when President Jacob Zuma was expected to deliver the centennial address.
An interfaith night vigil has already started at the Waaihoek Methodist Church. The programme also includes an awards ceremony, a traditional cleansing and restoration ceremony, a presidential centennial gala and a music show.
Many international guests and Heads of State have confirmed their attendance.
During his address in Thaba Nchu earlier on Friday, ANC Youth League president Julius Malema told delegates to be disciplined and shame those who thought the celebrations would be marred by chaos.
“We must be united," he said.
Concern has been raised by senior officials, among them Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, over the party’s factionalism, infighting and ill-discipline which threatens to cripple the ANC.