‘We go with Zuma, we go with our president’

2012-06-26 08:36

The ANC policy conference got off to a rowdy start with delegates making their voices heard in support of President Jacob Zuma.

The conference is supposed to discuss policies like economic transformation, but the event is also a proxy to test support for leaders aiming for the top job.

The 3 500 delegates started trickling into Hall 3 while free coffee and confectionary like hot cross buns and redcakes (a pink coconut covered bun) were being distributed.

While most delegates arrived in buses, the more well-to-do delegates came in Porsche Cayennes and 7-series BMWs. Ministers and top government officials had their drivers drop them off in front of the hall.

One delegate used the back of his spacious Porsche Cayenne to sell ANC merchandise in the parking lot of Gallagher Estate, while the popular struggle song Solomon was blaring over the speakers.

Footage of Umkhonto we Sizwe and Madiba was shown on large screens in the hall while delegates sang “How long are we going to toyi-toyi, we go with Zuma, we go with our president”.

None of the tension that was evident the last time the ANC met on this scale – at the 2010 National General Council – was seen at Gallagher.

Zuma is due to open the conference later this morning and the conference will after that start discussion on the much-maligned “second transition” policy document, which suggests radical economic transformation.

The document is expected to divide the conference, as it has support from Zuma and his chief lieutenants, but several provinces as well as the Youth League, Veterans’ League and Cosatu rejected it.

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