Limpopo opens arms for Zuma

EMBRACED: Jacob Zuma addressing a rally in Limpopo. 20/11/08. Pic. Michael Sakuneka. © Sowetan.
EMBRACED: Jacob Zuma addressing a rally in Limpopo. 20/11/08. Pic. Michael Sakuneka. © Sowetan.

Michael Sakuneka

Michael Sakuneka

ANC president Jacob Zuma wrapped up his two-day election campaign in Limpopo yesterday when he addressed a well attended rally at Kgapane Stadium in Bolobedu, near Modjadjiskloof.

Before arriving at the stadium to address supporters, who had waited patiently for him for two hours, Zuma first visited the Modjadji royal palace at Khetlhakoni to pay a courtesy call to the regent, Prince Mpapatla Modjadji.

During his address to about 20000 people at the stadium, Zuma criticised party members who had left the ANC to form the new Congress of the People (Cope).

He said like any other political organisation in the country, the ANC sometimes faced challenges, but it always remained victorious because of the loyalty and continued support of its members.

"The ANC is the oldest organisation in the country, and I appeal to members to remain committed to building it despite the challenges," he said.

He told his supporters to work hard to win next year's elections by a two-thirds majority and surpass their previous record.

"This will be possible because a large number of youths turned out to register with the Independent Electoral Commission to vote next year," he said.

He said there was no split within the party but that it was only a group of angry people who had left to form a political party out of anger.

This, however, contradicts a statement Zuma made on SABC radio yesterday morning that the new party posed a threat to the ruling party.

The ANC remains vibrant in all provinces that Zuma had already visited this month.

Limpopo remains a strong party base because of the high turnout of voters who had been loyal to the ANC in the past elections.

"As cadres of the movement, we must defend our mission, democracy and constitution," he said.

He was accompanied by several members of the ANC's national executive committee.