As the 100th Birthday party of the African National Congress (ANC) finally neared its end on 8th January of this year, the party’s top brass poured champagne and ate cake in front of a stadium of supporters at Bloemfontein. Despite the intense mid-summer heat, the crowd was not even offered water. Even Jacob Zuma, the President of South Africa, appeared to wince as Baleka Mbete, chairwoman of the ANC, raised a glass to toast both him and the party. Other more media-savvy members of the ANC, shuffled to get out of shot. They knew it looked bad.
Earlier, the South African Broadcasting Corporation had not reported that as Zuma had lapped the stadium perimeter, a section of the crowd had given the wheeling hand signal that football managers use to show they want to make a substitution. These were supporters of Julius Malema, the controversial ANC Youth League leader