'We're here to have fun with ANC comrades' - many party outside stadium as Zuma speaks

2016-04-16 16:14


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WATCH: Cheers in PE as ANC top six arrive for party manifesto launch

2016-04-16 13:20

Watch as crowds at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium in Port Elizabeth cheer as the ANC's "top six" arrive for the party's manifesto launch.WATCH

Port Elizabeth – Thousands of ANC supporters turned down the offer of seats at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium and instead started their own animated celebration while President Jacob Zuma delivered his speech.

For them, the parrty's manifesto launch was a great opportunity to celebrate with other ANC supporters from different provinces. 

A group which had come from the North West said they were only there to celebrate. 

"We came to party. We came to enjoy ourselves and see.. President [Jacob Zuma]. We have not slept and we will not sleep tonight," ANC supporter Tony Thebete said.

Thebete said they were bused into Port Elizabeth in 10 fully-loaded buses. 

Nolubabalo Ngcuka, from the Western Cape, told News24 she was less keen on hearing Zuma than on the events occurring around the area.

"It's buzzing here. It's my second time in PE. We saved for this day. We knew that we would have fun. It's an amazing time. I will watch the speech on TV," she said.

Ngcuka said a group of 15 of her friends in KwaLanga Township raised money to hire a minibus taxi to get to the launch.

"We raised R15 000 for the trip. We decided to sleep in the taxi to save money, so we can have fun with ANC comrades," she said.

Other supporters walked through stalls erected at the stadium's main entrance, buying ANC-branded goods. Some danced and sang along to struggle songs. 

In true military fashion, ANC Umkhonto weSizwe military veterans entertained attendees with military parades around the stadium walkways.

ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete said event organisers estimated that 42 000 supporters had attended the launch, however, some seats remained empty. Hundreds of buses and minibus taxis lined up along Govan Mbeki Street.

The stadium can seat 46 000 people. Earlier this week, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said they expected more than 100 000 people to attend, either at the stadium or at various overflow areas surrounding it.  

One bus driver told News24 he had come from Mpumalanga, with four other buses following him.

"I can't go to the stadium. I have to sleep. We travelled for hours and I have to take people back tonight," he said.

Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma

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