Disunity marks ANC centenary celebrations

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

Cape Town

The African National Congress stumbled into its second century
yesterday with little rejoicing, amid a clampdown on speeches and
after international dignitaries stayed away from a chaotic series
of commemorative events.

Yesterday's high-point, a rally in Mangaung – the municipality formerly known as Bloemfontein – almost descended into a stampede after people who had been bussed in from all over the country battled in a heatwave to get seats in the city's World Cup football stadium.

As President Jacob Zuma delivered a lacklustre 50-page speech, the 46,000-capacity Free State Stadium began to empty, only to fill again when the music began.

President Zuma used his speech to promote the party's centenary slogan, "Unity in diversity". Looking solemn and tired, Mr Zuma said black people had been reduced to subjects until they united in 1912 "in selfless struggle" to create the South African Native Congress (SANC), the forerunner to the ANC. He said the ANC "is a broad church that is home".

But the voices of that church were prevented from speaking at yesterday's commemoration. Some branches of the party were instructed to deliver their messages in writing. The move follows months of in-fighting that is likely to get worse in the run-up to a leadership conference in December at which President Zuma is tipped to ask for a second term.

The most high-profile figure in the crisis is the youth league president, Julius Malema, who in an uncomfortable compromise move by the party was suspended last month but remains in his position, pending appeal. Mr Malema refused to supply a centennial message for a booklet handed out at the stadium, instead issuing a press statement.

The ANC is spending 100 million rand (£8m) on events to mark the 100th anniversary. Last week it said 46 heads of state would be among the 1,500 guests at Saturday's gala dinner. However, fewer than 10 turned up.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Tepper had a stunningly successful career as a songwriter
people
Arts and Entertainment
Len Blavatnik
music
Sport

Today in the Premier League, Everton face Manchester United, and Arsenal take on Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium. A victory for Jose Mourinho's side, and they could win the Premier League title as soon as Wednesday with a win over Leicester.

Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
The original field in High Wycombe, which is used as the banner image on a number of websites belonging to local Tory associations
general election
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions