ANC lied about stadium, says Dali Mpofu

The ANC lied to the nation about booking Makhulong stadium ahead of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) elections manifesto launch, advocate Dali Mpofu said on Saturday.

"We were told that we can't use Makhulong stadium because it is for soccer," he told EFF supporters in Tembisa, east of Johannesburg. "That was in January."

Thousands of EFF supporters had gathered at the nearby Mehlareng stadium for the launch of the party's elections manifesto.

The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) was hosting an elections festival at the Makhulong stadium, just a kilometre away.

Mpofu, dressed in a red jumpsuit and EFF beret, said that if the ANC could lie about a stadium, how could they be trusted to create jobs.

Rapturous applause
Earlier, the Mehlareng stadium erupted with applause when EFF leader Julius Malema arrived for the manifesto launch.

The crowd, a sea of red EFF T-shirts and berets, chanted "Juju, Juju" and sang: "He is going to Parliament, make way for him."

The stadium was packed to capacity with some people standing on the pitch in front of the stage. 

Some supporters hoisted umbrellas, posters and banners high into the air, while others walked around with a coffin made out of boxes to symbolise the burying of other parties.

Musicians entertained the crowd while supporters were waiting for party leader Julius Malema to deliver the keynote address.

Some supporters were dancing and singing "a we e bona thupa [you haven't seen the whip]" while ripping ANC T-shirts.

Traffic officials had cordoned off the roads leading to the stadium, causing traffic jams, and there was a heavy police presence in and around the stadium.

No threat
Hundreds of ANCYL supporters began gathering at the Makhulong stadium this morning. But EFF supporter Brian Shivambu said the ANCYL was not a threat. "Real people are here and those there are young children and rented crowds."

Another supporter accused the ANC of trying to create tension.

The township was turned into a sea of yellow and red as members of the two parties made their way to their respective venues in cars, buses and on foot.

"I went past Mehlareng and walked proudly wearing my ANC T-shirt. Malema should know that Tembisa loves the ANC," said Paul Kgomo (32), who brought his son along.

Volunteers were distributing yellow ANC T-shirts and water to people seated inside the stadium.

The party's bikers club and the Mini-Cooper brigade roared into the stadium, resulting in ululations from people in the streets and houses across from the venue.

Traffic blockades
Police had closed off the routes near Makhulong and were only allowing pedestrians through.

Hawkers lined the streets, selling food and ANC memorabilia.

Well-known musicians such as Uhuru, DJs Shimza, Sbu, Blackcoffee were billed to entertain the crowds.

Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula and Young Communist League of South Africa secretary Buti Manamela are expected to address the ANCYL supporters. – Sapa

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