South Africa: Festival Atmosphere At Final ANC Rally - but Not Everyone Was Listening

The Electoral Commission of South Africa's Twitter page on May 6, 2019.

As the ANC held its final election rally at Ellis Park Stadium in Doornfontein before the 8 May elections, a large crowd of party members who had been bused in from across the province hung about outside, with some enjoying themselves in local bars and restaurants while President Cyril Ramphosa spoke. Others took the opportunity to get tested for HIV.

The governing party's rally differed from those of the other parties in a number of ways. Among the most noticeable was the number of police officers deployed to stand at entrance checkpoints while others were seated in their cars, watching from a distance.

Another difference was the taxi with the long queue of people waiting to get in. The taxi was not going anywhere, but instead was staffed by members of the Aids Healthcare Foundation (AHF) who were offering HIV tests. Next to the taxi was an AHF tent where people were directed to go to for counselling before they received their results.

So while ANC national executive committee members were being introduced to a packed stadium inside, some ANC members were making potentially life-altering decisions while others were busy selling ANC merchandise and food to those loitering around. Commerce...

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