ANC supporters came out in their numbers for the party’s Siyanqoba rally at Ellis Park stadium on Sunday — the party’s final rally ahead of the May 8 polls. While there were some worries, they firmly stand behind the ruling party.
A gridlocked Albertina Sisulu road saw buses adorned with t-shirts bearing President Cyril Ramaphosa face before the rally began. Not short of support, colour and atmosphere, ANC supporters filled up the stadium, with an additional 38 000 people being sent to the Johannesburg stadium as a result of an overflow.
Vendors selling food and clothing ranged from one end of Ellis Park precinct to the other.
Sibongile Mtembu, a food vendor decked out in an ANC scarf, told the Mail & Guardian that she has stood with the ANC since the apartheid era and will continue to stand with them.
She expressed that the party has disappointed her in the last four years, but hopes that “Ramaphosa will change the tune”.
“They have my second chance. I can only pray that Ramaphosa will change the ANC,” she said.
Sly Langa, a staunch ANC supporter, who himself was covered in green and gold from head to toe, told the M&G he believes that the party will win 60% of the vote on Wednesday.
By the time President Ramaphosa made his way out of the tunnel into the stadium, the crowd’s roars went from loud to deafening.
As he took the podium, Ramaphosa assured the crowd that he is just as confident as they are that the ANC will win the May 8 elections. He called the rally a “victory march” because he believes that the ANC will come out on top.
“Whether they like it or not, the ANC will match to victory on the 8th of May,” Ramaphosa added.
The president was quick to assure the crowd that the ANC has heard and noted their concerns with graft allegations plaguing the party. His address focused mainly on the interaction between the ANC and communities on the campaign trail and how the ANC planned to respond to the challenges identified, namely employment, housing, healthcare and education.
Taking a hard-line against those in his party facing allegations of corruption, Ramaphosa said they will not be allowed to hold positions of power within the ANC, government or Parliament. In a strident voice, Ramaphosa told the crowd the ANC would not “surrender our freedom to corruption and state capture.”