Sounds of "sizobuya naye uMsholozi" (we will come back with Msholozi), "ngena Jacob, ukhetho luyeza" (enter Jacob, elections are coming), "amandla ase masebene" (power is with the branches) and "sivulen` indlela siyo vota" (open the way for us to go and vote) today (Friday) echoed through Pondoland`s Qawukeni Great Place hall as crowds sang their hearts out to greet African National Congress (ANC) President Jacob Zuma on arrival to the area.

On the second leg of his four-day Eastern Cape visit, Zuma arrived this morning to Pondoland to pay a visit to King Mpondombini Sigcau and traditional leaders in one of ANC`s strongholds in the province - the birthplace of the late ANC leader Oliver Tambo.

Addressing the crowds Zuma said: "Despite the splinter, nothing new has happened to the organisation. The ANC is still intact. SThe challenge for us as members of the ANC is to translate our love for the organisation into a vote for the ANC. The ANC is the only future."

Zuma told the crowd that "if someone tells you he or she belongs to another party, do not interfere with that as long as when casting a secret ballot that vote goes to the ANC". "Do not vote for angry people without a history, legacy, policies and a clear programme of action," he added.

To tumultuous applause he paid tribute to the late ANC leader Oliver Tambo. He said: "Pondo`s should be remembered for the role they have played in the struggle for liberation. They are the ones who started the armed struggle to topple apartheid. We remember the Pondo revolt in 1960 at Ngquza. And they (Pondos) gave us Oliver Tambo, a stalwart of our struggle."

Earlier, Zuma held discussions with King Sigcau and other traditional leaders in the area who expressed open support for the ANC in the 2009 elections. Traditional leaders, also hoped that their concerns, which included improved benefits of traditional leaders and better access to healthcare facilities would be addressed by the ANC-led Government.

Issued by:
Brian Sokutu

African National Congress

Brian Sokutu 071 671 691