Manifesto rally to woo masses
ANC endeavours to win back support lost through in-fighting and allegations of corruption
TABLING its manifesto today, the ANC sees much work to be done, including intensifying its election campaign.
“We still have to humble ourselves to the voters. We still need to ask for support and go door to door,” said acting national spokesperson Dakota Legoete.
He said the party sought to regain the trust of those who abandoned it due to allegations of state capture and internal challenges under the leadership of former president Jacob Zuma.
Legoete would not say how much had been spent organising the party’s manifesto launch celebrations in Durban.
Its call for unity will be put to the test today at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
The stadium has up to 85 000 seats. More than 150000 members and supporters are expected to attend, taking up even the overflow areas arranged to accommodate them.
During the week, the top brass visited various KwaZulu-Natal regions to drum up support for the birthday bash and manifesto launch.
They took in influential churches and listened to the concerns of minority communities while giving undertakings. In an attempt to send a message that the ANC was more united now, its former presidents were invited to attend the birthday bash, including Zuma and Thabo Mbeki.
Kgalema Motlanthe – who served as president after Mbeki’s 2008 recall and as deputy for both the ANC and the country during Zuma’s first term – will also attend.
Earlier in the week, Motlanthe and Zuma were at the ANC rally to mark the party’s birthday at the Ohlange Institute in Inanda, where Ramaphosa said he would continue to use all his predecessors to fix the party’s challenges.
Because Zuma still commanded significant support in the province since his recall, the party was hard at work this week to ensure that Ramaphosa and his national executive committee were warmly welcomed.
Legoete said that while some party supporters sympathetic to Zuma chanted his name after Ramaphosa’s address at the Tuesday event, the party would ensure no one booed Ramaphosa today.
“We were taught and socialised in the ANC that it is bigger than all of us and all of us are subject to the authority of the ANC.
“The priority now is to deliver a landslide victory regardless of who is the current leader or president,” he said.
Legoete said the invitation to former leaders was not a desperate move to build support but a tradition that had been in place since the late 1990s when Struggle icon Nelson Mandela stepped down and handed over to Mbeki.
“We need to remind South Africans that it is not for the first time a former president is working side by side with the current president on the campaign trail.
“In 1999 Mandela did that with Mbeki. He did it again in 2004 and none of the things being said now were said then,” he said.