Shocking reasons, why the National Prayer Day and the launch of Africa Month which were slated to hold on Friday in Durban got postponed, have emerged. Earlier this morning, the presidency announced that the national religious event will be re-fixed at a later stage.
But according to sources within the ‘camp’, the event was postponed because the ANC failed to mobilise numbers to fill up the Kings Park Stadium. Lending his voice also, an ANC insider, who spoke on condition of anonymity asserted that the event was postponed because of political scuffles in the province.
“They cancelled the event because there were going to be buses with empty seats and the stadium was not going to be full. That would have embarrassed the president because this is his home province.”
The source added that some ANC members are still angry about the outcomes of last year’s provincial conference, where Sihle Zikalala was elected the provincial chairperson, unseating premier Senzo Mchunu.
“The ANC Youth League in the province has pulled out of the elections campaign for the municipal elections. They want the youth to also be made councilors, but the ANC does not want this and so they decided to disassociate themselves from the party.”
On the other hand, DA leader in the province, Zwakele Mncwango, asserted that a suggestion was made on Monday to cancel the event because branches were resisting being addressed by the president. He also noted that past national events like this have seen the ANC turning the national events into rallies. Mncwango alleged:
‘They hijack government events.What irritates us is that they hijack government events and use them as ANC rallies.”
National Prayer Day Not An ANC Event
Reacting to Mncwango allegation, ANC provincial spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli stressed that the National Prayer Day is not an ANC event and has nothing to do with numbers. Ntuli said,
“It is mischievous to say that the stadium was not going to be full. There was a Human Rights Day celebration in Durban and the Moses Mabhida Stadium was full to capacity, The president enjoys our full support.”
However, event co-ordinator, Pastor Siphiwe Moyo, stated another reason the event was postponed. According to him, it was postponed because people from other provinces wanted to attend. “People from the Eastern Cape and other parts of KwaZulu-Natal arrived, but we had to postpone the event because of issues that were beyond our control.”
He failed to pinpoint the said ‘issues’ but added that, “Finances were the least of our problems. It is a lie that branches were not co-operating.”
Another source with another version of the many reasons revealed that the event was postponed because the 32 000-seater stadium was not paid for in time.
With these contradictory reasons, it is now clear that presidency spokesperson, Bongani Majola’s claim that the event was postponed “due to unforeseen circumstance” stands unreliable.
Zuma was expected to address civil society and religious leaders at the Kings Park Stadium in Durban at around 09:00, but by 8:30, no buses had arrived and the stadium stood empty.