‘ANC 8th Jan statement will focus on addressing issues affecting SA’

The ANC says the statement, which will be delivered by President Jacob Zuma, will focus on addressing the issues affecting the country.

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe takes questions on the NEC meetings that took place all weekend from the Press. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – African National Congress (ANC) Secretary General Gwede Mantashe says the party's 8th January statement is an opportunity for the movement to reassert itself in society.

The party has given an update on preparations ahead of its 105th birthday celebration at the Orlando Stadium tomorrow.

The party says the statement, which will be delivered by President Jacob Zuma, will focus on addressing the issues affecting the country.

Mantashe says tomorrow’s 8th January statement is a platform for the ANC to solidify its position in society and remind members of their responsibilities.

“If we’re going to talk and dedicate this year to Oliver Tambo, it’s incumbent on all of us to begin to live those two up and begin to talk to them in the ANC.”

Mantashe says the party will invest in educating members this year on the principles of the party before any talks on who will succeed Zuma can start.

“So this year, we’re going to go everywhere, talk to the branches of the ANC, and begin to internalise the principles of selecting leadership.”

The ANC says it expects thousands of supporters to come out to the Orlando Stadium, including ambassadors from various countries.

FOCUS ON LEADERSHIP

Mantashe’s theme this entire week has been about educating branches and members about the importance of good leadership.

He has also lambasted corruption in the party.

Mantashe appears to be trying to change the way the ANC selects leaders and seems to want a more open contest, calling on branches to publicly explain their support for certain people.

He knows the stakes here are high and that those who support Zuma and possibly Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma may still have the upper hand in terms of numbers.

ZUMA DENIES LOCAL ELECTION LOSS

Zuma has likened the local government elections to a soccer match saying the ANC was beaten in some municipalities only by penalties.

He addressed supporters on Vilakazi Street in Orlando at an ANC mini rally, ahead of its 105th birthday celebration today.

The president appeared jovial and confident singing his trade mark songs as he spoke in isiZulu about the rich history of the ANC and how it was formed.

He told ANC supporters that the party never lost in the local government elections, adding that if there were a re-election the party would win outright.

Zuma says the ANC is a movement that has stood the test of time and will never die.

He has called on supporters to come out in their numbers tomorrow and celebrate the birth of what he calls the people’s movement.

Zuma has told supporters that the birth of the ANC was a historic occasion.

He says the party was born to free black people from oppression and to unite South Africans.

The president has thanked the people of Orlando for voting for the ANC and winning the ward.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)