ANC Should Not Celebrate Filling Up Harry Gwala Stadium


The ANC KZN got it all joyful as it got an almost full stadium during its election manifesto launch at the Harry Gwala stadium on Sunday.

But political analysts say the ANC ought not to be carried away by what they saw as the party is already losing its hold on the nation.

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal on Monday thanked the people of the Moses Mabhida region for their overwhelming support during its manifesto launch.

The party managed to fill up the 12 000 seater Harry Gwala stadium with more than 40 000 people but political analyst and senior lecturer at the university of KwaZulu-Natal Zakhele Ndlovu described the event not as an achievement as the ANC viewed it.

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According to him, the 12 000-seater Harry Gwala stadium was such a small stadium for a party like the ANC who usually holds the grip of almost all municipalities.

“Considering the political tensions and divisions in the province, I think they were scared to go to a bigger venue. They did not fill King’s Park Stadium and I am sure they feared that people would boycott,” said Ndlovu.

We could recall how the party struggled to get up to its expected 100 000 supporters during manifesto launch held at the 46 000-seater Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

In KZN President Jacob Zuma was scheduled to address a National Prayer Day at the end of April that was postponed to May for fears that branches in the ANC were going to boycott the Kings Park Stadium event. It was also alleged that the party failed to mobilize enough people to fill the 32 000-seater stadium.

The manifesto launch which had President Zuma addressing the party supporters on Sunday, was described by the political analyst as a huge disappointment on the part of the party.

Nevertheless, the president in his address told the supporters to remain united regardless of individual differences and regardless of who the candidate was

“We cannot treat each other as though we do not belong to the same movement. If you did not get an opportunity this time around, there is a next time,” he said.

The president also condemned the rising political killings that has rocked the country in the past few months. “Let us unite against those who are trying to sow mayhem through killing people in the province,” Zuma said at the time.

In reaction to this, Ndlovu said he is rather very disappointed at the manner in which Zuma handled recent political killings in the province. According to him, President Zuma’s decisions were not firm enough.

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“He could have taken a harder stance on the political killings in the province, but he failed to do so. In the past month there have been several killings and he had the platform to deal decisively with the acts, send out a message that the police will make arrests soon and assure people that he was concerned,” Ndlovu said as he went on to question why few of those who were allegedly linked to political killings had been arrested

“The service delivery protests that we are seeing, they have nothing to do with service protests, they have everything to do with the candidate lists for the elections. Many people who are in Senzo Mchunu’s camp feel marginalized, but many of the leaders in the province don’t care about the future, they are only interested in the now.”

The political analyst Ndlovu further said that the ANC party needs to tread carefully especially as the party is still divided internally and the people are still seeing reason to dump the party for another.

Also, that filling up the  Harry Gwala stadium shouldn’t be a sign of victory for the party in the coming election.