ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: DAILY DISPATCH/MARK ANDREWS
ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: DAILY DISPATCH/MARK ANDREWS

ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa and the rest of the party’s leadership arrived at the January 8 statement as a new leadership collective without much fanfare.

The leaders did not walk a lap around the field at the East London Absa Stadium, and merely moved swiftly onto the stage where they danced and sang about about unity.

The programme officially kicked off exactly at the time that it was set to begin, in contrast with previous ANC events where it was standard to wait for hours.

Before the top leadership arrived, thousands of ANC supporters sang different songs in support of Ramaphosa.

The interfaith prayers started ahead of what was scheduled. Secretary general Ave Magashule said on Friday that Ramaphosa would start his address at exactly 11am, which seemed highly probable by 10am.

Oscar Mabuyane, ANC chairman in the Eastern Cape, welcomed all of the ANC members to the province he leads. "Our 54th president has given us as South Africans a renewed sense of hope," Mabuyane said. 

Mabuyane said the ANC should be renewed as a party, and that it should be rooted among its people.   

Mabuyane made it clear that "we must be less preoccupied with ourselves".  

The National Executive Committee’s January 8 statement is set to give the marching orders for the party for 2018.

Jacob Zuma booed by crowd

President Jacob Zuma was booed by ANC supporters.

Zuma arrived in the middle of alliance partner Sanco’s message of support with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. The two men were cheered by a portion of the crowd when they entered.

When the cameras moved over to Zuma the crowd booed.

When ANC chairman Gwede Mantashe introduced Zuma, he was immediately booed.

This was in stark contrast with the welcoming cheer Kenyatta received when Mantashe introduced him directly after Zuma.