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Statement on the ANC`s preparations for the Siyanqoba Rally and update on the Local Govt Election Campaign

12 May 2011

We are ready for our traditional victory rally, Siyanqoba, to be held at the FNB stadium here in Johannesburg on Sunday 15 May and we have finalised all the necessary logistical arrangements. We are expecting about 100 000 people, including guests comprising prominent business people, traditional leaders and diplomatic corps, to converge on the stadium for an event we consider to be the mother of all parties biggest and the biggest gathering since the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The President of the ANC, comrade Jacob Zuma will deliver the key note address, with our leagues and political allies offering messages of support.

About 1500 buses will be used to ferry supporters from various parts of the country, the Gauteng province in the main. Some of the country’s top artists, which includes Chomee, Chicco Twala, Professor featuring Speedy, Tuks, Ihashi Elimhlophe, Shwi noMtekhala, Deborah Fraser and Teargas, will entertain the crowd.

The FNB stadium is certified to carry a maximum capacity of 95-thousand people. We have therefore arranged an overflow area adjacent to the stadium to accommodate those who will not be able to witness the rally from inside the stadium. The rally will also be beamed live to provincial Siyanqoba rallies through satellite technology, namely: Khayelitsha rugby stadium in Cape Town where we expect 40-thousand people to attend; Vodacom Park stadium in Mangaung; 40-thousand people are also expected to be part of the victory rally and the third event will held at Harry Gwala stadium in

Pietermaritzburg and 35 thousand people will gather to witness the event. For the millions of South Africans who will not be able to make their way to the main rally, the event will be broadcast live on SABC 1, E-tv and all SABC public service radio stations.

PROGRESS REGARDING OUR ELECTION CAMPAIGN

We continue to be humbled by the overwhelming support shown to our organisation by the people of South Africa. Informed by the improvement in their living conditions since 1994, these South Africans continue to invest their faith and hopes in the ANC to deliver better living conditions to their communities. With only six days remaining before the crucial local government elections, our campaign is approaching its final stage. Thousands of our volunteers, supporters, the rank and file membership and leaders of ANC structures – led by our officials, have been to every part of the country to interact with communities.

We are humbled and encouraged by the warmth with which we have been received by our people. Over the past few months we have met millions and listened to their concerns and ideas on how local government can be best run to ensure efficient delivery of services.

The message coming from them is plain and simple: they appreciate what the ANC has done for them so far, but more still needs to be done.

THE FINAL PUSH

Our officials and leaders have been hard at work in provinces putting final touches to our months-long spirited campaign. They will officially close the campaign by addressing rallies in provinces on the 16th and 17th May and intensify our personal interaction with communities.

Tomorrow about 4000 businesspeople, professionals and minorities will converge at the Sandton Convention Centre for an open discussion and will endorse the ANC Elections Manifesto.

This event will be followed by a gala dinner to endorse the Manifeto by about 5000 representatives of all sectors of our society, including traditional leaders, traditional healers, artists, and sporting personalities on the 16th May at 6pm at Gallagher Estate in Midrand.

On the same day, the ANC Secretary-General will meet with editors of media organisations and political journalists for a discussion breakfast. The SG will use this opportunity to clarify all issues pertaining to our campaign. We wish to express our profound appreciation to our alliance partners, our leagues and the entire Mass Democratic Movement family for their support and efforts during this campaign. Our efforts to engage all sectors of society further demonstrates that the ANC remains a broad church that accommodates all, regardless of your social status.

We welcome a progressive initiative by young professional, artists and opinion makers who yesterday came together to form a national platform for deliberation of issues, called ‘365 Leaders’.

The 365 Leaders’ objective is to encourage young South Africans to take active interest in the affairs of their country, take part in the elections and support the government in the delivery of services to the people. This initiative, led by some of the country’s top artists such as Kabelo Mabalane and Sbu Leope; television personalities such as Penny Lebyane, and young opinion makers like Shaka Sisulu.

These team of young personalities spent some time yesterday interacting with thousands of their followers on social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, their followers to take part in the election and vote for the ANC. Social media has become an integral part of our election campaign media strategy. We continue to interact with millions of our supporters on daily basis through these new media platforms. President Jacob Zuma is now on twitter and several of our leaders had presided over live twits.

Tomorrow the Secretary General of the ANC, Gwede Mantashe, will host a a live twitter interaction to field question from the public and urge them to vote for the ANC.

The DA has been distributing pamphlets with false and inflammatory statements intended to sow divisions within the ANC and to disadvantage it during the elections. Last night, we launched an application in the Electoral Court for an order restraining the DA from further distributing the unlawful pamphlet.

We have been informed by the Electoral Court that the matter should be referred to the police. Upon receipt of legal advice from senior counsel, Adv Gcina Malindi SC, the ANC disagrees with the opinion of the court. It is not reconcilable with section 78 (1) of the Municipal Electoral Act.

We have instructed our lawyers to proceed in the South Gauteng High Court and seek remedies available to it under common law.

The lawyers have advised that they have been in communication with the DA attorneys and that the preparations to be at the South Gauteng High Court this afternoon are at an advance stage. It is anticipated that this matter will be heard this afternoon or early evening.

Our focus will not be shifted by these side shows perpetuated by the opposition. We have demonstrated over the past 17 years that South Africans were correct when they chose us to deliver them from apartheid and usher in a new era where all people equal regardless of their skin colour or religious background. We will continue to work tirelessly to build an all inclusive society where all live in peace and harmony and in decent and humane conditions.

End.

Issued by:
African National Congress
Chief Albert Luthuli House
54 Sauer Street
Johannesburg

For more information contact:
Jackson Mthembu on 083 370 8401