Crowd chants ‘Zuma, Zuma’ after Ramaphosa speech

Baleka Mbete, Cyril Ramaphosa and Jacob Zuma at the 107th birthday January 8 statement of the party. Picture: ANC/Twitter

Baleka Mbete, Cyril Ramaphosa and Jacob Zuma at the 107th birthday January 8 statement of the party. Picture: ANC/Twitter

The party’s factional tensions may have played out during the president’s delivery of the annual January 8 speech, though some say the crowd was just happy to see Zuma.

As part of the ANC’s 107th birthday celebrations, Cyril Ramaphosa gave his annual ‘January 8’ statement at the Ohlange Institute in Inanda, eThekwini.

The speech may not have had the reception the president was hoping for, however, as reports have come in that the crowd reacted to it by chanting “Zuma, Zuma”.

The former president, Jacob Zuma, who was also present alongside other important ANC leaders, remains enduringly popular in KwaZulu-Natal.

eNCA’s Aldrin Sampear said the reason for the chant may have been that, while all the others at the president’s table were called on to greet the crowd, Jacob Zuma wasn’t.

Some seem to have interpreted the “Zuma” chants as simply an indication that the crowd was happy to see him. Others, however, had a less generous interpretation of events, with one user saying the “cadres” at the event were “out of order”.

READ MORE: The African National Congress has renewed its strength – Ramaphosa

Another Twitter user accuses public broadcaster the SABC of cutting the broadcast as the pro-Zuma chants began.

The January 8 statement is given once a year and is meant to set the tone for the ANC and government for the year ahead.

This was a tradition started by Oliver Tambo while in exile. He would deliver the speech annually from Lusaka, Zambia.

The full statement can be read here.

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