East London - The Buffalo City Stadium in East is packed to capacity as tens of thousands of African National Congress supporters flocked to the venue for the ANC's 106 birthday celebrations on Saturday.
City streets are crowded with many buses, minibus taxis, and other vehicles delivering ANC supporters to the stadium. Some came singing songs of unity, while others called for change and the removal of President Jacob Zuma. The event kicked off with entertainment and music.
While newly elected ANC secretary general Ace Magashule dismissed talk about calls for Zuma to step down, party chairman Gwede Mantashe did not deny such discussions, but said "Zuma's exit is not the only burning issue in the renewal of the organisation".
ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to deliver the party's January 8 statement, which sets the tone for the year ahead, later on Saturday.
Since last weekend, the party leadership has descended on East London to drum up support for the event. They have called for supporters to help the party rebuild itself. They have been preaching a message of unity, rooting out corruption, and restoring the the ANC to its role as "leader of society".