Pietermaritzburg – The ANC's leadership descended on Pietermaritzburg as the party's provincial manifesto launch got under way on Sunday.
President Jacob Zuma received a resounding welcome when he arrived at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg.
Surrounded by his protectors, Zuma went on a short walkabout to greet the crowd, thought to number more than 40 000.
Zuma was accompanied by several Cabinet ministers and NEC members including Bheki Cele, Jeff Radebe, Siyabonga Cwele, Jackson Mthembu, Bathabile Dlamini and Zweli Mkhize.
ANC supporters mocked a Hindu leader who offered prayers during the opening of the event. While the religious leader was praying, they laughed and made disparaging comments.
The election manifesto is being launched amid high tensions in the province. Several ANC members have been killed, including four in Pietermaritzburg, in what is believed to be politically motivated killings in the province. The party's election list process is said to be at the centre of the spate of murders.