South African President Jacob Zuma invited Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga and his deputy Uhuru Kenyatta for centenary celebrations of the African National Congress (ANC)

December 29, 2011

Africa, International

Raila, Uhuru invited to ANC celebrations

By Peter Orengo
The Standard

South African President Jacob Zuma has invited Prime Minister Raila Odinga and his deputy Uhuru Kenyatta for centenary celebrations of the African National Congress (ANC) party in South Africa.

Raila’s director of communications Denis Onyango Thursday confirmed that the PM, who is ODM party leader, had been invited by ANC but did not say if he will be attending.

“The PM received the invitation letter some time back but you will soon know if he will be attending,” said Mr Onyango.

Uhuru, who is also Kanu’s chairman, has confirmed he will be attending as the representative of the family of Kenya’s first president, the late Jomo Kenyatta.

A key event will be the presidential centennial gala dinner at Vista University in Free State to be hosted by President Zuma, on January 7.

Against colonialism

The main celebration will be held on January 8 at Mangaung Rugby Stadium where Zuma will deliver ANC’s centenary statement, marking 100 years of the party’s existence.

“ANC has enjoyed extremely close and historical relationship during our time in exile,” said the party’s national chairperson Baleka Mbete.

He said the occasion will be used to thank international community for support it gave to party leaders and supporters during the dark days of apartheid in South Africa.

The formation of ANC in 1920 was a culmination of South African’s struggle against colonialism.

ANC said it embarked on extensive preparation in the past two years for the centenary celebrations.

“The celebrations will be started at a palace of ANC, built 100 years ago in Waaihoek in Free Province. It will be a weekend-long event that will be attended by world leaders,” said Mr Mbete.

Some of the countries that have been invited include Germany, Russia and the United States.

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