President Jacob Zuma arrived in Gauteng today, some three days since his colleagues in the ANC national executive committee (NEC) and lower structures started campaigning to fill up Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Sunday for the ANC's 105th birthday celebrations.
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe told the media during a briefing today on the sidelines of the NEC meeting in Irene in Tshwane that Zuma, who had been in his hometown in Nkandla for the festive season, had sent an apology that he will not be available for party programmes in the Gauteng until today.
Mantashe did not give reasons for Zuma's absence.
He also said the special NEC meeting had initially been planned for yesterday but it was postponed to accommodate Zuma. The meeting was intended to discuss the ANC's brithday message, also known as January 8 statement, which Zuma will read on Sunday.
"He (Zuma) is now here and he will be moving all over the province," Mantashe said, adding that the ANC expected to fill the 40 000-seater Orlando Stadium to capacity.
"When we go for celebrations, we go for maximum turnout ... We always play to fill the stadium. We like to fill stadiums and fill overflows as well. But if it does not happen we get disappointed," said Mantashe.
He said the ANC will continue talking to the people.
"In a way it is also about following up on the issues raised during the elections. Where we lacking behind to be aware," he said.