Brits - Freedom was the word on the lips of African National Congress supporters in the North West after listening to party president Jacob Zuma speak at a rally in Lethlabile, north of Brits.
Following a 35-minute speech on Thursday afternoon in which Zuma spent the first half telling the history of the founding of the ANC and its role in the liberation struggle, and the second half deriding opposition parties, Jacob Kobe said one of the reasons he would vote ANC is because "they bring our freedom".
Dressed in a yellow ANC T-shirt, a beanie and wooden beads, the 30-year-old event organiser said he believed those voting for the ANC "are making a difference for the future and benefit of our children".
He said South Africa had a "great future. We need unity, ubuntu. The ANC liberated us to where we are now. We are having freedom", he said, adding that the youth of 1976 helped fight for it.
Asked what he thought of opposition party leaders Mmusi Maimane and Julius Malema, Kobe said: "I am not tossed by the wind that blows. If you focus on things, you will be successful."
He said the ANC had a proven track record and had a long future ahead of it. "If the ANC lived 100 years, it shows that it will live for another 100 years," he said.
ANC 'different from other political parties'
Elizabeth Gwabeni, who expressed her support for the ANC with a yellow ANC-branded doek and an ANC khanga, said she was voting ANC because it got her to "freedom in South Africa".
She said the ANC supported "many people who are suffering, with houses" and added that the party "supports many children".
Asked what she thought about the opposition leaders, she said: "They…lie, and they do not do anything in South Africa."
Zuma told the crowd, most of whom wore ANC T-shirts and colours, that the ANC was "different from other political parties" and that it had a 104-year history of fighting against the exclusion of black people from the political system and against apartheid.
He told the story of how the ANC struggled "very hard against the enemy" and said the party's leaders were persecuted, arrested and sentenced to death.
"We fought for this freedom very hard, and we sacrificed as the South African people were sacrificing. The ANC put more sacrifice than any other person. As they stayed in prison, they said 'no matter how long we stay, for the sake of the people and the country we will stay'.
'They forget what they did to Madiba'
He said many in the ANC died for the sake of the country too.
Zuma also attacked the Democratic Alliance for trying to appropriate former president Nelson Mandela for its election campaign, saying the party was "the child" of the former National Party which put Mandela into prison.
"They forget what they did to Madiba," he said. "In fact they try to make Madiba different from all of us here. Madiba is our leader, he does not belong to oppressive parties."
He said in the same way the NP used the courts to send ANC members to prison during apartheid, the DA was using the courts now during democracy to fight against the ANC.
"The National Party used the courts as an instrument to oppress us. The DA uses the court as an instrument to undermine democratic debate. They can't debate with us, particularly because they don't have anything to say," he said to loud applause from the crowd which filled the grounds of the stadium.
The rally was the conclusion to a day of campaigning during which Zuma visited an old age home and made speeches along the way and at a taxi rank.
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