Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy holidays to all our readers!

A very warm thank you to all who have read and supported this blog. WhatsUpANC is taking a break until the New Year. Until then, goodbye and happy holidays!

All the best from
The Team

Thursday, December 20, 2012

On Discipline, Renewal and 'Strategic Nationalisation'

Thursday highlights:
ANC Cleans Up Disciplinary Procedures

ANC Adopts Policies to Address Weaknesses

Conference Adopts 'Strategic Nationalisation'

Manuel sums it all up for us

Zubeida Jaffer and Liz McGregor write:

As conference draws to a close, Trevor Manuel says he is a satisfied man.  Delegates have given significant support for the implementation of the National Development Plan, especially in localized ways.  Nevertheless, he wants to raise the bar.  “We have to keep improving,” he said. “We have to get better at what we do.”

Manuel may no longer be on the NEC but, in a wide-ranging interview with WhatsUpANC, it was clear that he remains invested heart and soul in his country and his party.   The activist spirit that has propelled him throughout his adult life remains undiminished.

Looking tired but relaxed in a crisp white linen shirt, jeans and leather loafers, Manuel said his decision not to avail himself for the NEC had not gone down well with some of his colleagues. He, however, thought it was important for older comrades to step aside and make space for a younger layer of leaders. “I want to have the time to mentor younger leaders,” he said.

He was pleased about the growth in membership to over one million but not happy about the lack of attention to quality. “At Polokwane, we committed to raising the economic literacy of our members but have not done much of that,” he said.
At Manguang, conference decided to implement a ten year programme of education for members. This will be one of the tasks the new NEC will have to deal with immediately.

Equally important was a commitment to rigorous accountability.
 “When we leave here on Thursday, we have to ask whether or not we have a firm framework for accountability. For example when Minister of Economic Development, Ebrahim Patel, goes back to his job in government next week, what form will this accountability take? How is he accountable to the movement to which he owes his government position? How is he accountable to Parliament, the centre of accountability?”

The president’s announcement that school inspectors would be introduced also speaks to issues of ensuring accountability. “The president announced this in his speech. There will be no further argument. This will be implemented.”

He saw progress in certain areas, especially in the health sector.
 “We have definitely improved, partly because we have learnt from past mistakes and we have a competent, dynamic minister in Aaron Motsoaledi.”

Manuel spoke about his commitment to the ANC. It had always been amazingly good to him, he said. “In 1991, I was part of a cohort plucked out of obscurity. We were young when we were drawn into the negotiating team. I was 35. Valli Moosa and Cheryl Carolus were 34. Sydney Mufamadi was 32. Three years later, I became a minister. So there was a trust in us and an affording of opportunity.”

Manuel says he wants to do the same for a younger generation.
“I think it’s very important that we bring young people through. Not all of them will be ready, groomed and perfect but we must give them the opportunity.  If they stumble, we must support them. We have to ensure they have the correct ethics and values.

It was important that those elected to the new NEC understand clearly that they were making a big commitment. “They will have to accept there will be no weekends or holidays for five years,” he said.

There was also a need for those who had served on the NEC to realize that they should not hang around and wait to be ejected. “The regeneration of leadership is a crucial task for the organization,” he said.

A further challenge was to create policy consistency in the government. It was a problem if policies chopped and changed with every new incumbent. “We cannot afford to start afresh every time someone new comes into a position. This happens too often.”

At times, delegates had insufficient information at conference to make informed policy decisions. For example, a Polokwane resolution committed the government to paying 75% of the SABC budget without stipulating targets. “Some with particular agendas can also load a commission and obtain the outcome they want. A minister then finds him or herself obliged to implement it.”

Each conference brought new lessons.  After the dramatic events at Polokwane and the subsequent recall of President Thabo Mbeki, he decided it was the principled thing to do to tender his resignation and allow the new president to decide whether or not he would like him on his team. “All of us serve at the prerogative of the president and we have to make it possible for him to assemble his team.”

Principled practices must predominate. “Comrade Kgalema’s resignation and his speech from the floor was an example of proper conduct. He was gracious in defeat.”

Ministerial jobs were not for life. “If we leave people in positions for too long, the person becomes inseparable from the position in the minds of the public and the market.”

It was important to build up a strong skills base among a new generation of leaders to whom the baton could be handed. “When we first came into government, many of us at the time had strong backgrounds in reading and writing.  This was a practice widely encouraged in the movement,” he said.

There was not the same conscientiousness now. This was reflected in weak skills in the public service, an issue discussed at conference.
“We have to set the bar higher so that ministers, mayors and councilors can receive quality advice.”
He was concerned that a deterioration in the public service contributed to a relationship with the private sector based on favours. “Our economy is not what it should be,” he said.

Some of this could be blamed on poor education but socio-economic conditions were also part of it.  As a former student and current chancellor of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), he could observe at close quarters what factors affected the prospects of graduates.

“I see these youngsters coming through and their grades in engineering, say, are very good. They pass maths and applied maths.  They however do not have the same confidence as students who have grown up surrounded by books and conversation, who invariably find it easier to shine in interviews. The  disadvantaged students battle to find jobs.”

This same discrepancy in social capital applied to schools.  “Just over 60% of our schools are no-fee. And whether you are at a top performing state school like Westerford or the poorest performing school in Khayalitsha, the per capita contribution from the state is the same.  But at the higher-performing schools, you have active parents on the governing body who raise funds so that the school can employ more teachers. The kids’ performance is then accelerated and so the class differences remain.”

He raised some of these issues when he presented the National Development Plan to the conference plenary. Improving education would have to be one of the priorities.

Manuel refused to be pushed on where he saw himself after the next general election in 2014. “The question is academic,” he said. “I am a bit long in the tooth now. I am not sure that I will be able to run around all over like I used to,” he said, chuckling. “I will probably not do any one thing but a host of different things."

Reflecting on the possibilities of the 2014 election, he commented that people tended to vote in ways they felt comfortable with. “We cannot know with any certainty but all our numbers have grown,” he said. “Voters are loyal and influenced by class and race.”

He hoped that South Africans will talk together in the new year.

“What the National Planning Commission says is that we must create the space to talk about our  issues. It’s not about slinging mud and apportioning blame. It’s about putting all of this on the table for everyone to discuss – not just the government but the community as well.”

Life includes perfections and imperfections.  Both were on display at Mangaung. “Our future is under construction,” he concluded.

This is the person I wanted to be president

Pic: Moeketsi Mogotsi
Linda Fekisi writes:  I bumped into my heroine, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, at the Progressive Business Forum. Meeting her was such an honour. She was so friendly, kind and interested, I admired her even more

The storm is over...sorry, what storm?

Pic: Linda Fekisi
eNCA news anchor Iman Rappetti playing Mary Poppins. Mangaung was issued with a severe weather warning on Wednesday night. It turned out to be just rain.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

And the economy?

Zubeida Jaffer writes:

Government ministers reported to conference yesterday on an administrative plan to ensure that all elements of economic planning speak as one voice.

Gugile Nkwinti, Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, sketched an outline of how the National Development Plan and the Infrastructure roll-out plan will be part of a jointly administered arrangement.
He spoke after Trevor Manuel presented the National Democratic Plan to the full plenary of the conference for discussion in the commissions.  Ebrahim Patel,  who serves as Minister of Economic Development in the Zuma government, followed Manuel with a detailed presentation of the Infrastructure Roll-Out Plan at the centre of the New Growth Path.

Nkwinti’s presentation lay to rest the ongoing speculation that government was following different approaches to growing the economy.  
Also part of the behind-the-scenes negotiations around details of the economic way forward is Jeremy Cronin who declined nomination to the NEC this week. Cronin, who is Deputy Minister of Public Administration and Land Reform, said that he expects there to be dissenting voices in the economic commission. Despite this he is convinced that the key outcomes at the Policy Conference in June 2012 will continue to lay the basis of the vision of the ANC. “We will accommodate some of Cosatu’s concerns as well as business concerns but essentially I don’t expect there to be major changes,” he said.
Cosatu wants a bold shift in the government’s macroeconomic framework. This means they want interest rates to be lowered by the Reserve Bank and want government to increase spending to stimulate the economy. 

Government’s position, according to Ebrahim Patel, is that it will seek to get more value for its money.  “We have to stop the leakage,” he said. “There are enormous challenges because we have such extreme poverty in our country.”

 The greatest challenge will be to agree on a social pact where everyone has to give a little,” he said. “Neither Cosatu nor business are likely to get exactly what they want.  In effect we are following an expansionary approach but this requires further coordination around wage bargaining,” he said.

Patel reported to conference that 670,000 new jobs had been created in the past two years since the launch of the New Growth Path. “This takes into account the job losses. Our net gain has been 670,000,” he said.
With the massive infrastructure roll-out plan already kick-started, Patel expects ongoing job growth within the next year. Two groups of delegates constitute the commission on the economy and will end their deliberations today.

**Cronin has confirmed that he, like Trevor Manuel, will continue to serve in government until the end of their term in 14 months time unless the president decides otherwise.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Broadcasting live from...

Libokanyo Mokhadinyana & Seithati Semenokane write:

WhatsUpANC is now famous in the Free State! The two of us have just been interviewed about the blog on Free State community radio station, Motheo FM (88.5MHz), by Thembekile Mrototo,  a second-year journalism student who is working at the station while studying. Motheo FM has 329 000 listeners. 

Podcasts of the interview were then streamed to 65 of the 120 community radio stations in the country, reaching 7.8million listeners. Those who did not get the live stream were updated via telephonic conduct with the support of the Media Development Diversity Agency (MDDA).

This has increased interest in the blog with many youth enquiries coming into the station, according to Thembikile. 

Motheo FM is broadcasting live from the conference and streams podcasts to a host of other community radio stations. 

Exhibition of an historical journey

Gallery compiled by Seithati Semenokane and Libokanyo Mokhadinyana.
"Hintsa the Great"
King Hintsa kaKhawuta (1789-1835)
Great Monarch of the Xhosa

"The Great Elephant"
King Dingane ka Semangakhona (1975-1840)
King of Zulu Nation (1828-1840)

"Prisoner of War'
Chief Kgalushi Malaboho
Iconic Chief of the Bahananwa and Beseiged prisoner of the boers (estimate 1860's - 1939) 

"Man of Cloth"
Dr Johannes Theodorus van der Kemp (1747-1811)
First Missionary among the Xhosa and Khoi Khoi
Founder of the first Dutch Missionary Society

"Rebel Kaptein"
Chief David Stuurman (1773-1830)

"King of Kings"
King Sekhukhune (1814-1882)
King of the Bapedi and freedom fighter

"The Indomitable One"
Queen Labotsibeni Mduli (1838-1923)
Queen regent of Swaziland and joint head of state 

"Right Hand Man"
Hadji Ojer Ally (1853-1922)
First President of the Hadima Islamic Society
Pioneer of the 'Congress' Movement

"First Secretary General"
Sol Plaatjie (1876-1932)
Founding Member and first Secretary General of the S.A. Native National Congress, 1912-1917

"Founding Father"
John Langalibale Dube (1871-1946)
First President of the South African Native National  Congress, 1912-1917

"First Speaker of Congress"
Thomas Mtobi Mapikela (1869-1945)
Founder member and first Speaker of the S.A. National Congress (SANNC)

"Lion of the North"
King Makhado Ramabulana
King of the VhaVenda (around 1840-1895)

"Mother of African Freedom"
Charlotte Maxeke (1874-1939)
President of the Bantu Women's League
First African female graduate from South Africa.

John William Colenso (1814-1883)
First Anglican Bishop of Natal
Constitutional Theologian and Human Rights Campaigner

"The Shephard One
Cetshwayo kaMpande (1826-1884)
The  last king of the Independent Zulu Nation (1872-1879) 

"Free Thinker"
Olive Schreiner (1855-1920)
Writer of one of the first Feminist Treaties of the 20th Century. 

"Rebel With a Cause"
King Nyobela of the Ndebele Regent King of the Ndzundza Ndebele
Died 1902

Motlanthe to leave government

Kgalema Motlanthe will resign from government and leave the way clear for Zuma to bring Ramaphosa in as deputy president immediately, rather than waiting until 2014.

Motlanthe has had to accept that Jacob Zuma beat him by 2983 votes to 991 in a secret ballot. At the same time, Cyril Ramphosa received 3,018 votes from delegates, which makes him one of the most popular - if not the most popular - individual in the ANC right now.        

Kgalema Motlanthe probably made the most moving speech of his career when he announced he would not stand for the NEC. Motlanthe, who had dedicated 15 years as an ANC office-bearer - 10 as Secretary-General and five as Deputy President  - thanked the party and all South African citizens for giving him a chance to serve them. 

Delegates gave him a rousing standing ovation.

Mothlanthe told them: “We must continue to champion democracy in our country and the world over.”

He said South Africa must de-racialise and rid itself of sexism. “We must attend to the economic challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment.”

Even though he was the loser, he endorsed the new leadership, saying: "The leadership was elected by the entire membership of the African National Congress."

He ended by thanking Zuma for allowing him to speak even though protocol did not allow for this.                                             

Meanings and messages

Liz McGregor writes:

Much of the message emanating from Mangaung is, like Trevor Manuel’s modest choice of transport (see earlier blog), non-verbal. On the way into the big tent at lunchtime to hear the election results, dancing, singing Zuma supporters brandished the two-fingered salute (palms facing out) to indicate they wanted Zuma to have a second term. When the election results were read out, showing the landslide victory of the Zuma slate, they came up with a new sign: first the rolling “we want change” one followed by both arms thrown out, showing empty hands. The message was: “Change didn’t happen.”

The ANC must give some credit to Gauteng, the region which drove the Motlanthe camp. In keeping with their resolve to monopolise the moral high ground, they instructed their followers not to counter Zuma songs with their own, to avoid the volatile sing-offs from the Mbeki and Zuma camps that rendered parts of the Polokwane conference chaotic.

It’s difficult to describe how powerful is this mass singing in the sweaty claustrophobic confines of the big tent where all 4,500-odd delegates plus a couple of hundred journalists and foreign dignatories are clustered. It engages you on an entirely different level to the cerebral stuff going on on the stage.  One of the flashes of brilliance I’ve seen in the past couple of days has been Zuma’s soaring into song at the start of his opening speech. Until he opened his mouth, the mood in the tent was explosive with tension and conflict. It was so unexpected: in this highly formal setting, with foreign ambassadors and business leaders in the audience. And all the hostility that has built up around the man because of his abuse of public funds and shifting morality.  Then this moment of beauty: his voice full of passion and feeling so that it seemed to encompass every emotion in the tent – the anger, the sorrow, the hope, the fear. All seemed to be acknowledged and felt by him so that by the end, thousands of voices were singing with him, all now in tune.

And, of course, his choice of song was equally astute: it was in praise of Mandela, the one leader we all love and revere.

Behold, the Zuma moment!

It was no secret going into today’s announcement plenary that Zuma’s slate would wipe the floor. With National Chaplain Mehana chanting ‘Viva God’, the Zuma Moment was ushered in. Song, dance and even prayer accompanied Zuma’s victory in the ANC.

A different moment is missing - this moment was not in sight or in the air today in the ANC’s main  tent. The "other" moment I suspect; lies sheltered in the hearts of millions of South Africans.
Zuma’s re-election rings like a hymn gone wrong. The lead chorister has his hands up in the air conducting with gusto, the choir sings along obediently and we, the people sit in the audience, observant but disappointed.
A 'Viva God' moment. The newly elected ANC top 6 bows in prayer.
Photo by: Linda Fekisi
But we also hum along to the hymn – subliminally. The ANC remains a dominant player in South African politics. And yes, the usual reasons given are true: rich history, a strong base in the South African population etc.

What is never mentioned is our lethargy (wholly or partially) in maintaining the current order. South Africans might be tired of hearing the mantra of ‘active citizenship...blah blah blah’ - but perhaps now, more than ever, this is just what is needed.

The ANC is at odds. The party cannot sing in unison because its beautiful hymns are filled with empty promise and their lead choristers are out of sync. We shouldn’t (and cannot) expect anything from the ANC. The ANC’s problems are deep seated and it is detached from the concerns of our country.

Perhaps it’s time to hum a different tune. One that does not yearn for the "renewal of the ANC" but one where citizens place their agenda at the forefront of South African politics.
Next time when someone sings the ‘active citizenship swansong blah blah blah....’ try to do more than just listen. Sing along and then do something.

From Mangaung and beyond

Here’s the problem. Our obsession with the ANC is endemic, a national obsession if you will. We watch them with hawk- eyes as they throw their toys (and chairs sometimes) out of the cot. The ANC will leave Mangaung deluded about their alleged unity and dominance and very little will change for South Africans. My unease has nothing to do with the ANC or their Chorister in Chief, but the next decade for our country.

With the next general election comes along in 2014, a lot will remain unchanged. Inequality levels will remain entrenched amongst (mainly) poor black South Africans. Health, education and economic reform will remain embossed in government policy documents.
The key challenge for South Africans will be to drop their focus on the ANC and start building a solid civic base that will counter the game of patronage, power and petty politics.

Mangaung has preoccupied our public discourse over the past year not because we expected much from it in terms of policy and fundamental change but  because we’ve relinquished so much of our power to a single group.

A new hymn is waiting to be sung. This hymn will find its rhythm in the dusty streets of South African townships and in the leafy South African suburbs. The divide that is so visible will lead to much legitimate anger and strife. The reliance on political will to change our circumstances will plummet.
Like any blessing, gratitude is best expressed by a hymn: you know which hymn to sing.

Chuckles with Chester

Produced by Linda Fekisi and Moeketsi Mogotsi
I got to share a few laughs with Chester Missing.

Day Two in pictures

Photographs and captions by Moeketsi Mogotsi
Some of the events on day two...

"Aaaaaace Aaaaace"
The singing continued
The signs are all there, just read between the lines
Waterberg delegates not afraid to hide their vote
Former South African Reserve Bank Governor, Tito Mboweni
Razzmatazz: Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula
Some people fall in love with politics,  others are just born to it
Ismail Shaheim, delegate from the Johannesburg  branch, Ward 32, promoted one of the more loved leaders

The return of the buffalo

Sibusiso Tshabalala writes:

Far from wild life auction halls, Cyril Ramaphosa revived his almost-abandoned political career in Mangaung yesterday. Buffalo man exuded quiet confidence.

Yesterday when Zuma delivered his political report (cum-campaign speech) it was clear that he was also campaigning for Cyril. In his 14-page political report, Zuma made much mention of the National Development Plan. His soon-to-be Deputy President is also the Deputy Commissioner of the Planning Commission. The Plan has been the subject of much discussion within the alliance. Some have supported it and some haven’t. Zuma made it clear yesterday that the ANC should throw its full support behind the National Development Plan as anchor for future policy.

Cyril Ramaphosa will play an integral role in sorting out the ANC’s policy woes. Since it came to power, the ANC has staggered from one policy to the next. The cost: confusion over key policy positions (land reform, nationalisation, state owned enterprises etc). The National Development Plan is a rational critique and plan for what South Africa needs to do to close the jarring socio-economic gap. If Cyril has his way, he could be enforcer-in-chief of the plan as Deputy President of the ANC (and possibly of the country too).

Ramaphosa’s return to the political safari is laden with controversy. His affiliation to Lonmin as a non-executive director and his buffalo fetish drew attention. His probable election as the ANC’s Deputy President will assert his dedication to the ANC and grow the support he already has.

As the Mangaung spectacle unfolds, we remain in political wilderness. The political safari is laden with the Big 5 and the return of the Buffalo is imminent.

Making way for the new game

SibusisoTshabalala writes:

Mangaung will not bring about any drastic leadership changes within the ANC. Three of the six probable winners might be new to the positions, but their place in the safari has been long secured.

Here’s the Big 5 and the Buffalo:

  • President: Jacob Zuma
  • Deputy President: Cyril Ramaphosa
  • National Chair: Baleka Mbete
  • Secretary General: Gwede Mantashe
  • Deputy Secretary General: Jessie Duarte (DSG-elect : stood uncontested and was elected in accordance with the ANC's constitution)
  • Treasurer General: Zweli Mkhize

A quick glance at the list will show you that these individuals are not only Zuma pawns in the game against Motlanthe but also accomplished politicians in their own right. Their political will over the next five years will be tested.

For the ANC to remain a powerhouse its leadership needs to deal substantively with key challenges - the rot of corruption, organization inefficiency and the inability to translate policy into reality. This is unlikely to happen.

The rocket that failed to launch

SibusisoTshabalala writes: 

 We can (sadly) conclude that Kgalema Motlanthe will not be elected as President of the African National Congress. From day one, delegates from all over the country were already singing and cheering for their preferred presidential candidates. Interested in hearing a different tune, I walked around and it was clear that Jacob Zuma was in everyone’s rhymes and dance moves.

More importantly, three days into the conference, there has been very little lobbying from Kgalema’s camp. There seems to be no strategy at all. It there is any, ‘roll over and die’ best describes it. There are a few reasons why Kgalema Motlanthe will not win. Amongst many is Jacob Zuma’s coordinated crusade to clutch all possible King Makers to him. The foxy Ace Magashule from the Free State is one of Zuma’s King Makers. Early in the game, Ace pulled his card (an ace?) by declaring his allegiance to Zuma in May – a month before the Free State Provincial Conference. Seven months ago, Zuma pocketed the Free State; seven months later many more provinces have followed.

Zuma understands this well. His decisive win at this conference will partly be secured because he not only made his intentions clear, but he also knows he has to have King Makers and key allies on his side. Kgalema, by contrast, does not get this. Calls for him to run for President have mainly come from the fringes of the ANC. No real ANC powerhouse in the form of a league or individual punted him, except the infantile ANC Youth League, which was treated with contempt.

Various vocal groupings (with little lobbying on the ground) have punted Motlanthe’s name on rooftops. Forces of Change, Friends of the Youth League and the Anybody But Zuma groups have crippled Motlanthe’s campaign in ways more than one, precipitated not least by their inability to lobby actively on the ground for him

For any rocket to launch it needs a base and Kgalema unfortunately, does not have one.

Taken for a ride

Liz McGregor writes:

It's been a very long night for the delegates. Walking from Marula, the UFS residence where I am staying, to the media centre, I met Khumbulane Ntusi and Bheka Cele, both councillors from the Hibiscus Coast municipality on the KZN south coast. 

Both declared their allegiance with large portraits of Zuma emblazoned on their chests. They had only got to bed after 5am, when voting was finally over. Now they were off to take part in one of the commissions.

One gets very little sleep here, going purely on adrenaline and then sweating it out in the big tent. Just as Khumbulane was remarking that at least they were getting a fair bit of exercise, walking a couple of kilometres between their residence and the big tent every day, a huge black car came to a halt beside us and invited us in.

At first, we thought the driver had mistaken us for members of the NEC but then he explained that Nissan was doing a promotion today. And one of the perks was impromptu lifts for delegates.

One can only hope that a clear line is drawn here: the Nissan we are being driven in costs over R700,000, our friendly driver informs us.

The flashing blue light brigade parking off.
Pic: Moeketsi Mogotsi

Transport is symbolic here. The blue light brigade learnt from Polokwane how much their blaring imperious passage annoyed the thousands of delegates trudging along in the hot sun, being rudely hooted out of the way by some VIP. At Mangaung, ANC VIPs (except Trevor Manuel) still drive around in their monster cars but the blue lights don't flash and they don't hoot.

The rest of us walk. Unless Nissan is trying to get business out of you.

Trevor Manuel: off the NEC and down with the people

Liz McGregor writes:

Just spotted Manuel driving himself around the UFS campus in the tiniest car! Makes a wonderful change from the BMW blue light brigade. Clearly being off the NEC suits him.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Pens, notepads and no action

Linda Fekisi and Moeketsi Mogotsi write:

It was all very confusing. First, ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza arrived in the media lounge and summoned journalists.  We must hurry to the main marquee, where all the main conference sessions take place, because the finalization of  delegates’ credentials was now on the agenda and this session was open to journalists, unlike the proceedings earlier in the day.
The man with the his right hand raised is the ANC security guard shouting at the media...

After rushing to the main marquee to get one of the 200 seats allocated to more than 850 media representatives, there was another surprise. Gwede Mantashe took the microphone and demanded to know why we were there. “This is a closed session, the media is not allowed in,” he declared. We had barely sat down when we had to hurriedly pack up our laptops and put away our pens and note pads. ANC security then ushered us out, getting heavy with journalists who showed resistance.

We were then told to go into this marquee and wait...

We were then ordered to squeeze ourselves into a much smaller tent outside the main marquee. We were told to wait in this tent, which can only described as a giant microwave, with no air conditioners or chairs, until further notification.                                      

Suddenly we're told we can go in again.

This is the latest incident in the series of misunderstandings that have occurred between the conference organisers and the media in Mangaung. 

*Anyone is free to lift our stories but WhatsUpANC must be credited as the source

And so it begins...

Seithati Semenokane writes:

Excitement as the conference begins!

 *Anyone is free to lift our stories but WhatsUpANC must be credited as the source

Chester's Mission

LNN news reporter and WhatsUpANC friend Chester Missing was found wandering about in the streets of Mangaung. The puppet himself explains what he's searching for.

 *Anyone is free to lift our stories but WhatsUpANC must be credited as the source

Some scenes from the opening day

Photographs by: Moeketsi Mogotsi

"Siwelele sa ANC..."
New Wits Vice Chancellor, Adam Habib
Zuma making his opening speech

Baleka Mbete, Gwede Mantashe, Kgalema Motlanthe and Mathews Phosa 

Man of the moment

And again...

The lone ranger

Baleka Mbete and a weary Lindiwe Sisulu

Two delegates

Rachel and Dali Tambo

Patrice Motsepe

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Tina Joemat-Pettersson 
 *Anyone is free to lift our stories but WhatsUpANC must be credited as the source

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Zuma is on song

Linda Fekisi writes:

Where there is Zuma, there is song
Mangaung has been hit by the Jacob Zuma song bug. The atmosphere inside the tent right now is electrifying, energised and on such a high musical note. The note, set by the president just before his opening speech, has  lit the spark for the conference. 

At the start of his opening speech this morning, President Jacob Zuma broke out in song. The Zulu song "Inde lendlela esiyihambayo", translating to "It has been a long journey"  can be seen as a way of Zuma celebrating not only the centenary of the ANC but also the end of the long journey from Polokwane 2007.

 Jacob Zuma’s ability to use rhythm and sound with his supporters is a highly effective strategy. The strength of his support  inside the tent seems to grow minute by minute. Songs such as “Sizobuya naye Umsholozi” – “We will come back with Msholozi”,”Siwele wele Zuma” and  “Moya oyantayela ore ke khethe Zuma” – “The spirit is leading me to choose Zuma” have got delegates dancing in excitement.

 *Anyone is free to lift our stories but WhatsUpANC must be credited as the source