Rustenburg – Over 120 000 people were expected at the 104th anniversary celebration of the African National Congress in Phokeng near Rustenburg at the weekend, the party’s deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte said on Tuesday.
“We expected 123 000 people at the stadium. There are 45 000 seats in this stadium, we will use the pitch where 10 000 people will be allowed. The rest will be at the two overflow areas next to the stadium,” Duarte said at a media briefing at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace in Phokeng.
Images of the event would be projected onto giant television screens to be erected at the overflow areas.
Duarte said the event was planned to start early due to the scorching heat in Rustenburg.
“We are going to start early due to the heat. People are warned to come with hats or umbrellas,” she said.
“President Jacob Zuma will speaks as early as 11:00 and we expect to have completed the day’s programme by 2pm. We do not want to keep people long due to the heat.”
Water tanks would be provided for revellers.
Duarte said members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ANC would come back to Rustenburg after the celebration to address issues raised by disgruntled members.
“We have met with the co-ordinators of the march yesterday [Monday]. We received the memorandum. They raised issues about brown water in Rustenburg, a clinic and some internal matters of the ANC. Some of the issues like water was resolved,” she said.
“The people who marched on Monday, are disgruntled members. We will attend to issues raised including the corruption they alleged in the Rustenburg local municipality.”
Police intervened during a tense standoff between two factions of the ruling party in Rustenburg on Monday.
On Monday, police separated two ANC factions. One of the groups had tried to march to the Rustenburg municipality to demand that North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo be recalled and that the provincial executive committee of the ANC be disbanded. Mahumapelo is the chairman of the ANC in North West.
The other group, made up of volunteers, blocked the march, claiming to protect the ANC.
Both groups - armed with bricks, stones, and knobkerries - hurled insults at each other each.
The police stood prevented the two groups coming to blows.
Officers had to fire stun grenades when the two groups started flinging bricks at each other.
The disgruntled members retreated to the taxi rank, with their co-ordinators leaving for a meeting with the ANC secretariat.
Duarte said although everyone was welcome at the stadium, divisive T-shirts or songs would not be allowed.
“There will only be one ANC T-shirts. If you come with another T-shirt, you and your T-shirt will be asked to leave.”