In his speech, Zuma criticized the media and "alien" practices he said were trying to tear the ANC apart. While acknowledging the movement had become an established political party instead of the guerrilla movement of the apartheid era, he also talked about the group's revolutionary past and sang about Nelson Mandela, the 94-year-old anti-apartheid icon who remains hospitalized after suffering from a lung infection and undergoing gallstone surgery.
In mentioning Mandela, as well as the ANC's past, Zuma appeared to try and link his current leadership with the larger history of the party. He cemented that by opening and closing his remarks by singing in Zulu: "The journey is long, ... Mandela told his followers that we'll meet on freedom day."
Jon Gambrell can be reached at www.twitter.com/jongambrellAP.