ANC Centenary celebrations

By Drum Digital
11 January 2012

3 days, R100 million, 46 heads of state and over 100 000 ANC members, that is what it took to put together the ANC centenary celebrations.

The celebrations took place in Bloemfontein this past weekend.

The event was, according to ANC national spokesperson Jackson Mthembu, “successful and fulfilling celebration to acknowledge its 100 years of existence.”

Three day long celebrations teed off on the Friday with a golf day which included Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and several ministers.

The golf day event was followed by a church service at Waaihoek Wesleyan Church, attended by Gwede Mantashe and Baleka Mbete.

The church, now a historical site, was a constant source of reference throughout the three days.This is where leaders, academics and several chief's gathered to form ANC.

Four events were held at the church, including the flame lighting and the slaughtering of the ox. The sacrificed ox was part of a cleansing ritual to cleanse "all the bad things that have happened in SA

The three day long celebration culminated in the Annual January 8 speech made by President Jacob Zuma. The event held at Free State Stadium was filled to capacity with over 48 000 members dressed in green and gold.

Even though the opposition leader Helen Zille didn’t join in the party, she had this to say “I extend my sincere congratulations to the African National Congress (ANC) and its leader, President Zuma, on reaching this impressive milestone.”

Jacob Zuma's speech navigated through the last 100 years of ANC’s existence.

"Unless the ANC makes rapid progress in transformation of our economy and society to benefit the majority, it will be unable to withstand the prevailing logic of colonialism of a special type," was the message left behind by the President of the ANC.

Yet many in the crowd were left many unimpressed with the 16 page long speech, with 1000’s of supporters leaving the stadium before Zuma was finished with his address.

Political analyst Eusebius Mckaiser tweeted: “Jacob Zuma's centenary speech was an epic disaster: unimaginative narrative, tragically delivered.”

While columnist Khaya Dlanga tweeted: “The speech was very good on ANC history. Touched on the important ANC milestones. It was well balanced.

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