Zuma rises to occasion, but media left steaming

2010-09-21 00:00

ANC President Jacob Zuma rose to the occasion at the national general council by stamping his authority in his political report.

Zuma, who has often been criticised in the build-up to the event for his lack of leadership, presented a clear and decisive report that condemned “regrettable incidents” involving the youth league, called on members to be modest and defended the tripartite alliance.

This was the high point of the first day of the NGC, which began with a bungled registration process.

Journalists were angry at being forced to wait until the early hours of yesterday morning for their registration tags.

This reporter got hers at exactly 1.12 am after the computer system had crashed at least three times.

The official in charge, former youth league president Fikile Mbalula, who has his eye on the job of secretary-general, hardly inspired confidence as he stood around helplessly without offering a solution.

A foreign correspondent summed up the frustrations of her fellow journalists when she said: “You are the ruling party.

“This is totally unacceptable. You can’t even give us an explanation for this chaos.”

Sapa reported that the company in charge of the process had only one printer on site, which was at times printing one accreditation card every 45 minutes for some 2 000 delegates and 300 journalists.

Other hitches arose over promised visits by ANC luminaries to various communities in KwaZulu-Natal.

Minister for Human Settlements Tokyo Sexwale was expected in Phoenix at midday, but arrived there only at about 5.30 pm.

A group of students at Indumiso College in Pietermaritzburg waited in vain for youth league leader Julius Malema. He was seen later that night partying at popular Umlazi tavern, Max’s Lifestyle.

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