President Jacob Zuma has once again been booed by his own party members at the ANC’s 106 birthday celebrations in East London, where thousands of people have gathered to listen to its newly elected president Cyril Ramaphosa.
Zuma was booed as he appeared on the big screens next to Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta while walking in during the messages of support.
When officially welcomed by ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe, ANC members and supporters again booed Zuma loudly. When Kenyatta was officially welcomed immediately after, the crowd erupted in cheers.
The rally started just before 10.00am, slightly ahead of schedule. But Zuma and Kenyatta arrived at around 10.30am. Mantashe joked after they arrived:
“We are the new ANC leadership, president [Zuma], so we start on time. If you arrive late, you will miss out.”
This is the second time Zuma has been booed at a major national event. He was first booed at former president Nelson Mandela’s memorial service in December 2013, and again at the Congress of South African Trade Union’s may day rally in 2016.
Zuma’s popularity has significantly waned since he was replaced by Ramaphosa with increasing calls now coming from within the party that he be recalled as head of state.