Bloemfontein - Bottles of Moet champagne in buckets lined the bar at the entrance of the hall to the ANC’s progressive business forum gala dinner on Saturday night.
The guests were seated in alternating rows of circular and round tables. At the front of the hall, a stage with a lone transparent podium stood against the backdrop of a large ANC flag.
At the sides of the hall, vertical banners for ABSA, Cell C, Nissan, Nedbank, Vodacom, Standard Bank and Multichoice were held upright by stands. Sitting at the head table with President Jacob Zuma were his three wives as well and businessman Patrice Motsepe.
Earlier, PBF co-convener Renier Schoeman said the presidential table, which seated 12 people, cost at least R500 000.
A normal table cost about R250 000. In attendance were the party’s top six officials, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba, Public Services Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, former government spokesman Jimmy Manyi, deputy Basic Education Minister Enver Surty and deputy Co-operative Governance Minister Yunus Carrim.
Guests were treated to a three course meal, starting with a salmon and bell pepper terrine with cheese shortbread. The main course entailed feta and cheddar stuffed chicken roll with chicken veloute, seared herb crusted fillet with burnt onion sauce, savoury basmati rice, aniseed and rosemary scented potatoes, pumpkin roulade and roasted vegetables. Guests would finish off their meal with chocolate and yogurt mousse. ANC treasurer general Matthews Phosa gave the opening remarks at the dinner. - Sapa