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Struggle songs feature prominently on first day of ANC conference

30 June 2017 - 15:41 By Ngwako Modjadji
ANC delegates singing at the ANC Policy conference taking place at Nasrec.
ANC delegates singing at the ANC Policy conference taking place at Nasrec.
Image: Masi Losi/Sunday Times

Delegates attending the ANC's national policy conference in Nasrec‚ west of Johannesburg‚ made struggle songs a prominent feature on the first day of the conference.

Eastern Cape delegates led the charge and sang Usheshe wa sho kukhona insizwa ezilelela (you have pronounced too soon). This was clear reference to those who are backing Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to replace President Jacob Zuma as ANC leader.

A few delegates from North West‚ Mpumalanga‚ Limpopo‚ KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape sang songs praising Zuma. They sang "Asinavalo" (we are not scared).

Most delegates remained seated while other delegates belted out revolutionary songs.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has said that divisive songs will be banned at the conference.

As Zuma walked onto the stage‚ his supporters shouted "Zuma‚ Zuma."

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Mantashe received a lukewarm reception as they arrived. They both proceeded to greet ANC national executive committee members.

Winnie Mandela urged Zuma and Ramaphosa to shake hands on stage.

ANC Eastern Cape spokesman Malibo Qoboshiyane said that their songs were not mocking anybody. He said the province has cautioned its members against making early pronouncements.

"We are not here on the issues of leadership" he said. "We are here for policies."

ANC national chairwoman and National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete called for unity within the ANC.

"We must unite ourselves in how we conduct ourselves as cadres of the movement‚" Mbete‚ who is the programme director‚ told delegates. "Even in the songs we sing we must unite this organisation." Zuma received a standing ovation and thunderous applause as he took to the podium to deliver his opening address‚ while a song was sung in his praise. He also used his speech to appeal for unity within the ANC.

- SowetanLIVE