'We are free': FNB Stadium packed for ANC's Siyanqoba rally

Supporters say party has done enough and should carry the hopes of the nation

25 May 2024 - 18:06 By Penwell Dlamini
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ANC supporters at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday.
ANC supporters at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday.
Image: Reuters/Alaister Russell

ANC supporters who packed FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday said they remained loyal to the ruling party because of what it had done for them and believed it could address the problems South Africa faces.

Speaking to TimesLIVE during the Siyanqoba rally held at the stadium, the supporters said they believed the party had done enough to continue having their votes and should carry the hopes of the nation.

Nomsa Liabara, 37, of Majazana informal settlement in southern Johannesburg was elated seeing thousands of other ANC supporters at the stadium.

“We love the ANC. If it was not for the ANC we would not be free. Our children have opportunities that did not exist before. We also have RDP houses because of the ANC. We have schools where we don't pay school fees, all that is because of the ANC,” said Liabara.

Shadrack Mina, 51, from the same settlement, said it was important for him and his friends to show their support for the ruling party. “Looking at the people that are here, it is clear that the ANC has had a successful campaign.

"I'm aware that some people are criticising the ANC today but I know where I come from with this party. I grew up being forced to respect white people and call them 'basi' (boss).

“The ANC brought freedom and today I can call people by their names. I know there are problems in my community like roads and electricity but that will not make me quit the party. I believe the ANC is for all people in SA,” Mina said.

ANC supporters at the rally were treated to a feast of music featuring Bucy Radebe, Dr Malinga, Sipho Hotsticks Mabuse, Thebe, Boom Shaka and Ihhashi Elimhlophe.

The field was filled with festivities as the youth in cultural attire danced to celebrate Africa Day. Members of uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association displayed their marching skills to cheers from supporters.

Dikeledi Thabe of Vredefort in the Free State said she left the province with other residents at 6.30am ensure she arrived on time at the stadium. “Our journey was a lot of fun because we were all comrades from the same area. It was important for us to come here and show support for our party because these elections are clearly highly contested.

“The ANC has given birth to some kids and they are giving it competition. But I will continue voting for the ANC because I know the history of the struggle and what it has done for me,” Thabe said.

Busisiwe Nkwanyana, 57, of Dobsonville in Soweto, who was dressed in Catholic Church regalia said: “I was brought up by the ANC in my family. I know what used to happen in the apartheid era and the changes that we have seen over the past 30 years.

“As black women, we were not allowed to own properties, today we are free to have our own houses. Our children are able to drive modern cars and are free, an opportunity that we never got when we were young under apartheid,” said Nkwanyana. 


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