ANC gala like a matric dance

2018-01-14 06:14
Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams. Pictures: Leon Sadiki

Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams. Pictures: Leon Sadiki

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'The ANC is as united as ever' - Zuma hosts final gala dinner as ANC president

2017-12-16 07:59

President Jacob Zuma hosted his final gala dinner as ANC leader with the event attended by the who's who of the business world. WATCH

In an evening reminiscent of a high school matric dance, car after car rolled up outside the East London International Convention Centre carrying VIP guests.

Of course, unlike a matric dance, those in attendance were mostly pretty old and flanked by tough-looking men and women, subtly armed and ready for a fight.

On the eve of Cyril Ramaphosa’s maiden ANC birthday statement, national executive committee members and special guests put on their best for a gala dinner.

The camouflage jumpsuits and other green, gold and black ANC regalia, which party members wore this week as they took to the streets doing door-to-door campaigning, were replaced by elegant ballgowns and black ties.

A radiant Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma emerged from her vehicle with her trademark head wrap, her face glowing.

Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams was the homecoming queen in an elegant floor-length frock, and acted coy when asked to pose for a quick picture.

Nomvula Mokonyane rocked up in a short black number with bright yellow pencil heels and a clutch to match.

Never one to disappoint, Bheki Cele opted for a black tie and a fedora. He sat beaming next to his wife, who he affectionately calls MaNgcobo.

But not all of the looks were winners.

Gwede Mantashe opted for a bright red blazer, which looked as if it belonged to a school head boy.

Senzo Mchunu showed up in a jovial mood, wearing one of his awful patterned shirts, the kind that he, King Goodwill Zwelithini, Zweli Mkhize and Jacob Zuma insist on wearing in public.

Perhaps it is a Zulu thing.

On the menu was smoked chicken and mango with a strawberry salsa to start. For the main, a chicken breast and lamb cutlet duo arrived with an awkward side of what was called a vegetable basket, but was really just a hard pastry with barely a teaspoon of gravy and overcooked veggies plopped in the middle.

Spirits were high as the ever- charming Ramaphosa entertained the group with humorous recollections of their visits to royal heads, pastors and ordinary members of the party this week.

He didn’t quite capture the attention of the whole room as the likes of Thandi Modise conversed and giggled with what was clearly the naughty group at the back of the class.

They were seated in what was basically the kitchen, but that did not keep her and her sidekicks from being in very high spirits.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta made quite the entrance with his entourage of security, who refused to sit throughout the proceedings.

The guests were treated to an awful rendition of Thina Sizwe – a song we know to be one of Zuma’s favourites – by an over-zealous praise singer who warned that the DA had sent people to spy on the event, though it was not immediately clear who the double agents were.

There wasn’t much direction to the event and everything seemed to happen on an ad hoc basis. Dinner was followed by Ramaphosa’s speech.

The venue cleared out pretty quickly, leaving dozens of slices of lemon cheese cake uneaten.

Sensing she had lost her crowd, programme director Edna Molewa hurriedly declared the evening over

Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma

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