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Bloemfontein - Various former African National Congress members in the Free State were welcomed back into the organisation on Thursday.
“As we welcome you, from here you will go back to your branch where you belong,” provincial ANC secretary William Bulwane told those who crammed into the auditorium at the Mangaung municipality's main building in Bloemfontein.
Groups of new ANC supporters, who were rejoining, arrived from Ficksburg and Fouriesburg to attend the media conference, which quickly turned into an ANC gathering with singing and cheering.
Free State ANC deputy chairman Thabo Manyone welcomed former Free State Congress of the People leader Casca Mokitlane back to the ANC.
Also at the meeting was former Free State Cope heavyweight Charlotte Lobe.
Bulwane said most of those who filled the auditorium and rejoined were former Cope and the Economic Freedom Fighters members.
“Therefore as we deal with the process of applications of these comrades in joining and rejoining the ANC, we expect that such a process would be done at the branches where they live.”
Bulwane said the ANC decided to hold the event after former members, unhappy within opposition parties asked to rejoin the party.
“These who called to rejoin were not a surprise for the ANC. Some we called back were members who sat at home not participating. It's their organisation. Come back so that we could move South Africa forward.”
Bulwane did not mention any names, but members who were linked to the “regime change” group that wanted Jacob Zuma ousted as ANC president at the ANC's elective conference in Mangaung in 2012 were also seen at the gathering.
It included former Free State ANC treasurer Moxilisi Dukwane and former provincial secretary Sibongile Besani.