Man­i­festo rally to woo masses

ANC en­deav­ours to win back sup­port lost through in-fight­ing and al­le­ga­tions of cor­rup­tion

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NATION - SIVIWE FEKETHA

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.

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