Johannesburg - Thousands of ANC supporters erupted into cheers when President Jacob Zuma arrived at the FNB Stadium in Soweto on Sunday.
Children dressed in khaki uniforms, known as Masopa-tsela (show the way), held ANC flags as they formed a guard of honour.
Zuma, dressed in a yellow T-shirt and leather ANC jacket walked onto the stage with both hands raised, smiling and waving at the screaming crowd.
ANC head of elections Malusi Gigaba chanted “Zuma, Zuma, Zuma” over the microphone.
The president walked up and down a ramp erected in front of the stage, greeting the audience.
The 95 000-seater calabash stadium was filled to capacity on Sunday for the African National Congress' s Siyanqoba rally.
Three overflow areas outside the stadium were also full.
Zuma will deliver the keynote address at the rally which would be live streamed to other ANC rallies around the country.
Last time Zuma addressed a crowd at the FNB Sstadium he was booed.
Children dressed in khaki holding ANC flags formed a guard of honour for the party's top officials as they entered the stadium.
The crowd cheered as ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, secretary general Gwede Mantashe, his deputy Jessie Duarte, treasurer general Zweli Mkhize and national chairwoman Baleka Mbete made their way to the stage.
The officials waved at the crowd, as they were welcomed by ANC head of elections, Malusi Gigaba.
ANC stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela arrived shortly afterwards and took her seat with the national executive committee members. She was dressed in full black as she is still in mourning following the death of her ex-husband and former president Nelson Mandela. - Sapa