May 22, 2011
The roar of 12 motorbikes cruising to Luthuli House announced the arrival of the ANC's bigwigs for the party's election victory celebration in Johannesburg on Friday night.
And whoever said government ministers and officials have little fashion sense may have had to think again.
Mokonyane a 'lame duck premier and queen of empty promises'
The comrade women, including Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane and
Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Dina Pule, pitched up in skinny jeans, biker boots, jackets and scarves matching the biker theme.
Mokonyane, sporting a long wavy Brazilian weave, looked the part as she strolled behind President Jacob Zuma.
Similarly, the elegant Deputy Minister of Public Service and Administration, Ayanda Dlodlo, looked as if she was going horse riding in black tights, a fitted black top and long black riding boots.
Even the men made a fashion statement - Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula donned a pair of chocolate-coloured skinny corduroy pants and a matching velvet jacket accessorised with a caramel scarf.
And Julius Malema did not disappoint - the ANC Youth League leader sported "skinny jeans" with a crisp white shirt and a Gucci buckled belt.
The team of bikers were from the Sopranos Bikers Club said businesswoman Anathia Mothiba, who added that she and her gang came to celebrate having supported the ANC during its campaign. A fellow biker, Amazon Namane, said she had been riding since last year and had needed only two days of lessons.
As a few thousand ANC members sang and danced around the cordoned-off Sauer Street in downtown Johannesburg, the VIPs made their way to the stage.
Zuma addressed the crowd, thanking those gathered for "a campaign that has once again demonstrated the power of the ANC".
"The analysts analysed until they ran out of analysis," said Zuma to much applause.
As he wrapped up his speech, the partygoers were getting ready to celebrate. Once Zuma left several bottles of Moët & Chandon were sprayed onto the crowd, with Mokonyane leading the charge.
Later, sultry singer Chomee hit the stage with her crew of dancers - even showing Mbalula and ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe a few moves.
Across town, Qedani Mahlangu, Gauteng MEC of economic development, entertained about 200 people at the Emoyeni conference centre in Parktown.
Joburg's incoming mayor, Parks Tau, was in attendance . "I am excited and appreciate the confidence the people have shown in us," he said.
Asked if he was looking forward to his new job, he said: "It is a huge responsibility, it is a complex city. The issues here are developmental and transformational."
Tau, referring to some of the city's northern suburbs which the ANC again failed to win, said: "We will need to engage with the wards that the ANC has never won. Is it prejudice or is it genuine concern? Somewhere in between we have to find ways to engage."
This concern was echoed by ANC Gauteng chairman, Paul Mashatile, who said while the party intended consolidating its traditional base, it may take a long time to crack the city's wealthy suburbs. "The fight now is on how we can penetrate those suburbs," Mashatile said.
Guests were served lamb on the spit, boerewors, pap and salads.
"Why are you taking pictures now, you must wait until later in the night ... when we are all drunk," quipped Mahlangu.