ANC sings its way into old City Hall

(First Edition)

AS A MEASURE of how far South Africa has travelled since the Soweto students' uprising of 1976, the anniversary of which was marked yesterday by peaceful rallies up and down the country, a gathering attended by the white female population's black heart-throb was hard to beat.

Tokyo Sexwale, voted South Africa's sexiest man last month by the predominantly white audience of a local radio station, is a former guerrilla fighter and political prisoner who now runs the African National Congress in the Johannesburg area.

Yesterday morning he addressed a political meeting at the City Hall, a venue more commonly associated with the ruling National Party.

Dramatising the ANC's conquest of this bastion of white authority, Mr Sexwale, 40, led the assembled 'comrades' in a protest song. 'Viva ANC] Viva Nelson Mandela]' he boomed before embarking on an unprepared half-hour speech ('I had one written, but Nelson Mandela stole it from me this morning.') Over in Soweto, in the traditional 'struggle' setting of Orlando soccer stadium, Nelson Mandela read out Mr Sexwale's speech, somehow managing to keep the crowd of 15,000 people absorbed. Mr Mandela called dramatically for 'the youth' to join the ANC's military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation) 'in droves'. But Mr Mandela, immensely charming as he is in private, is not a natural public speaker. To make matters worse, just as he was beginning his speech, a police helicopter flew overhead and dropped thousands of pamphlets. Mr Mandela, no longer able to make himself heard, had to sit down.

The police message offered a reward of 20,000 rand (pounds 4,000) 'to any individual who can supply them with information which will lead to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who committed an armed robbery on 2 February 1993 at Comuta revenue office'.

The incident offered an unnecessary reminder to all present that 17 years ago the police had opened fire on and killed hundreds of schoolchildren. The cry went up in the stadium 'Kill the Boer] Kill the Boer]' - and it was like the old days again.

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
  • 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: Front-End UI Application Developer

£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Service Engineers - Doncaster / Hull

£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...

Recruitment Genius: Employability / Recruitment Adviser

£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...