WATCH: Crowd at ANC manifesto launch goes crazy for Zuma

The thousands of KwaZulu-Natal ANC supporters made their love for the former president known.

While it is President Cyril Ramaphosa who will be giving his first speech at an ANC birthday rally on Saturday, in the eyes of the crowd he may not be the main attraction.

EWN has posted a video showing the crowd going crazy for former president Jacob Zuma. Many on Twitter have noted the extremely strong reception the ex-president was met with.

The rally, which marks the launch of the party’s new election manifesto, and doubles up as the party’s 107th birthday celebration, takes place at the Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban.

KwaZulu-Natal remains very much Zuma’s stronghold. Ramaphosa has shown a united front with Zuma in the past week, in which the ANC has kicked off its 2019 election campaign in the province, despite the perception that the pair are political rivals. He praised the former president in his January 8 speech at the Ohlange Institute in Inanda.

Agence France-Presse reported earlier on Saturday that the ANC may have strategically chosen KwaZulu-Natal as the launch of their new manifesto in a bid to counter factionalism in the party.

READ MORE: Now is Ramaphosa’s time to show his strength

The Citizen reported early on Saturday that Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection research director Susan Booysen agrees with this assessment.

Asked whether Ramaphosa’s recent public show of unity between himself and Zuma, whom he walked with to lay wreaths at the resting place of ANC founding father, Dr John Langalibalele Dube, and Zuma’s presence at the January 8 Statement, was a strategic move, Booysen said: “It was indeed strategic for Ramaphosa to share a stage with Zuma in KwaZulu-Natal.

“There has been a compromise made, an uneasy coexistence between the old and the new leadership within the ANC.

“The challenge for Ramaphosa now is to move forward to show the country that we are now not dealing with a compromised ANC, and that he no longer needs Zuma next to him.”

(Additional reporting by Brian Sokutu)

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