Discipline within the ANC had to be maintained and was “non-negotiable”, President Jacob Zuma told a packed Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane today at the 99th ANC anniversary celebration.
At the beginning of his speech he said he wanted to draw supporters attention to the resolution on discipline taken at the party’s national general council held in Durban last September.
“Discipline is non-negotiable.
It must be enforced without fear or favour,” said Zuma as the skies opened with a downpour and ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema sat behind him on the stage.
Moments earlier, Malema called for a programme of nationalisation to eliminate poverty.
He said the only way to free the country from poverty was to implement a programme of nationalisation.
“Nationalisation is the solution to the problems we are facing,” said Malema.
He took aim at big business, especially white business owners.
“We cannot accept the economy being in the control of white males,” said Malema.
Earlier, Zuma received a rousing welcome from supporters wearing yellow ANC T-shirts and blaring vuvuzelas.
Bus and taxi loads of people were seen arriving at the stadium amid a high police presence.
As distinguished guests and well known performers began arriving they received a rapturous applause and blast of vuvuzelas.
Zuma’s yearly statement is traditionally the start of the political year, where one can expect the president to detail what he expects the party to achieve.
Last night at a gala dinner of the Progressive Business Forum, Zuma said the party’s association with working movements and communists was nothing new.
The alliance between the ANC, workers and the communist party has been a subject of analysis and debate over many years.
Umkhonto we Sizwe veterans marched into the stadium with a yellow, green and black cake to celebrate the party’s anniversary.
Loud music, cheering and the blowing of vuvuzelas filled the stadium.