Cape Town - When Ayanda Silinga set out to shoot some pool at Sabu’s Place in Gugulethu on Sunday afternoon, he never imagined he might end up playing the president.
Silinga and other patrons at the tavern were surprised when President Jacob Zuma arrived, grabbed a cue and tried to pocket a few balls.
Zuma was egged on by patrons, some singing his trademark song Awulethe umshini wami (bring me my machine gun).
“It’s the first time I’ve seen Jacob Zuma, I’ve only ever seen him on the TV,” said an excited Silinga.
The ANC leadership has been visiting homes across the city in preparation for the May 7 polls.
Deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe was in Crossroads on Sunday, while in Langa secretary-general Gwede Manatashe welcomed Cope members back into the ANC.
ANC Western Cape leader Marius Fransman said that as they moved towards May 7 the party was “bringing back everyone who belonged to the ANC”.
He said there were more than 1 000 Cope members joining the ANC.
“The whole structure of Cope today is collapsing,” he said. “The ANC is on a roll and we’re bringing those (who are) supposed to be with us back.”
Meanwhile, Zuma visited residents from wards 42, 41, 44 and 40 in Gugulethu – shaking hands, posing for pictures and speaking to children.
Zuma addressed crowds in NY64 Street in Xhosa.
ANC member Keith Khoza said Zuma had told residents they needed to “rectify the situation”, that “something would be done this time” and that the ANC was “taking back the Western Cape”.
He told the crowd their votes were important and encouraged people to vote for a party already in government, saying the ANC had experience in governance.
Fransman told the crowd “enough is enough” and that on May 7 “the walls of Jericho will fall down”.
For resident Thobeka Mabija, Zuma’s visit to Gugulethu “was great”.
It was a special moment for her being able to touch the president’s hand as he passed by.
She was pleased there was community interaction with him and that residents had the opportunity to tell him about the gangsterism and their environment.
Mabija said the visit was also important as Zuma could talk to community leaders about residents’ issues. But she was well aware the visit could not solve residents’ problems.
”At the same time I don’t know if it will bring any change,” she said.