ANC sings its way into old City Hall
Thursday 17 June 1993
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.
- 1 Secret Cinema interview: Why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 Iraq crisis: End 'very near' for Christianity after Isis takeover, says Bishop
Israel-Gaza conflict: John Prescott condemns bombardment of Gaza as a 'war crime'
Thatcher ‘was warned of Tory child sex party claims’
Israel-Gaza conflict: President Obama presses Netanyahu to call ‘immediate and unconditional’ Gaza ceasefire
Lauren Goodger calls for tougher laws on revenge porn after sex tape leaks online
Iraq crisis: End 'very near' for Christianity after Isis takeover, says Bishop
Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Training/Learning and Development Co...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manage...
£32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£110 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Urgently looking for Quali...