A bull bellowed in sacrifice on Saturday as South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) paid tribute to its ancestors and founding leaders, who 100 years ago paved the way for Nelson Mandela's rainbow nation.
President Jacob Zuma led the slaughter of a black bull in a ceremony on the second day of the African National Congress centenary festivities to celebrate its rich anti-apartheid legacy now tarnished by scandals and challenges.
'Today our leaders, traditional leaders and traditional healers, had to perform certain rituals before we get into serious business of celebration,' said Mr Zuma after the sacrifice at the church site where the ANC was founded in 1912.
'In other words, to remember our ancestors, to remember our own gods in a traditional way.' Overlooked by giant portraits of former leaders such as Mr Mandela, healers and cultural groups dressed in beads, porcupine head-dresses and animal skins sang, danced and prepared food as politics gave way to African drums and tradition.
Men run away from a cow ahead of its slaughtering at the traditional Cleansing and Thanksgiving ceremony at the historic Waaihoek Church in Bloemfontein on Jan 7, 2012.
South Africa's President Jacob Zuma (left) holds a spear, as US civil rights activist Reverend Jesse Jackson (right) looks on, after a black bull was sacrificed as part of a cleansing ceremony ahead of the upcoming African National Congress (ANC) centenary celebration in Bloemfontein Jan 7, 2012
Women wearing traditional attire dance ahead of the upcoming African National Congress (ANC) centenary celebration in Bloemfontein Jan 7, 2012
Woman of the Pedi tribe dance during the Cleansing and Thanksgiving ceremony at the historic Waaihoek Church in Bloemfontein on Jan 7, 2012
A traditional healer performs a Cleansing and Thanksgiving ceremony in Bloemfontein on Jan 7, 2012.