Madiba at ANC centenary? ‘The spirit must move the old man’

The African National Congress expects 46 heads of state at its 100th anniversary bash this weekend, but isn't sure its iconic leader Nelson Mandela will attend, the party says.

"We continue to hope, but that's not an issue you can ever finalise until the very last moment because the spirit must also move the old man," ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete told journalists on Wednesday.

At 93 and increasingly frail, Mandela has not been seen in public since July 2010, when he delighted fans at the World Cup final with a surprise appearance.

After a health scare in January 2011, he retired to his rural childhood village.

The democratic hero's family will attend, alongside heads of state, former leaders and members of the anti-apartheid movement, said Mbete.

The party expects 46 heads of state to attend the three days of celebrations that start on Friday, with 100 000 supporters expected to flood into the normally placid central city of Bloemfontein.

Nigeria's Goodluck Jonathan and Uganda's Yoweri Museveni are among leaders that have confirmed attendance for the anniversary of the party which has been in power the fall of apartheid in 1994.

Events include a golf tournament, a ritual cleansing ceremony and animal sacrifice at the church where the party was founded in 1912. President Jacob Zuma is expected to give a speech on Sunday.

Former president Thabo Mbeki, who the party removed from office just months before the end of his second term, will attend, as will Nobel Peace Prize winner, retired archbishop Desmond Tutu, who has sharply criticised the ANC in power. — Sapa-AFP

  • In a previous version of the story we stated that Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe was expected to attend the centenary celebrations. It has since been established that Mugabe will not be attending.

 

Keep the powerful accountable

Subscribe for R30/mth for the first three months. Cancel anytime.

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Sisulu rejects Ramaphosa’s ‘apology in her name’

In a public showdown with the president, the minister promptly distanced herself from his statement that said she apologised for her attacks on the judiciary

SANDF’s condemned-building mess

A 40-year-old army accommodation block housing 500 soldiers was ‘upgraded’ using residents’ recreational fund contributions. But it is dangerous: other high-risk residential flats in the area have been evacuated because of dolomite corrosion.

2021 matrics set new record with a pass rate of...

Most bachelor passes and distinctions in the class of came from female learners

Basic education minister celebrates the top achievers in the class...

Angie Motshekga says 2021’s matrics are in ‘a class of their own’ for having persevered through Covid-19 pandemic for two years
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×