Today's Big Stories

Poor turnout at manifesto launch due to botched bus arrangements - ANC

The African National Congress (ANC) says logistical issues led to the seemingly low turn out at its election manifesto launch in Nelson Mandela Bay over the weekend.

EWN's Rahima Essop says the party recorded only 42 000 people entering the stadium, while it had initially expected at least 110 000 supporters. Of the 42 000, not all appeared to be seated in the stadium.

According to Essop, the empty seats have raised questions among the public amid leadership tensions within the party.

Meanwhile, ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa says the party has no conspiracy theory behind the half empty stadium, and blames transportation issues.

We take responsibility. We had a problem with our transport plan which collapsed at a point when it was supposed to pick up people.

Zizi Kodwa, National Spokesperson for the ANC

Kodwa says the low turnout at the venue does not reflect their overall support on the ground.

Listen to the full conversation from The Midday Report with Stephen Grootes:

On the other hand, the Sowetan's political editor Moipone Malefane says the low attendance indicates problems in the metro and Eastern Cape, as well as ongoing in-fighting in the ANC.

Malefane says that, in the past, the ANC has filled up stadiums with ease, and that logistics should not be an excuse.

It's a clear reflection of how, in that province, the leaders are not working together. And they went as far as lying to the national leaders to say they are bringing 100 000 people.

Moipone Malefane, political editor at the Sowetan

Listen to the full conversation from The Midday Report with Stephen Grootes:

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