I got there early along with Colin Braude, my branch chair, and Ken Fullerton, a young activist who has just joined the party. We found some seats close to the front and milled around as the hall filled up. Everyone was in a very upbeat mood, the sense pervading that the party is set for major gains both in the national and Gauteng votes.
Activists were bussed in from from far and wide
From where we were sitting the Dome looked chock a block
Makashule Gana, former DA Youth Chairperson now Deputy Federal Chairperson, got things going around 11 am.
Lindiwe Mazibuko, Parliamentary Leader, whose recovered from her spell in hospital and is now in full election mode
Lindiwe plunged into the crowd after her speech
I bumped into Joy Summers who was filming for a Carte Blanche programme going out on Sunday
90% of the crowd were black - how can the ANC claim the DA is a white party?
Mmusi Maimane was both MC at the start and the penultimate speaker. "The future is in our hands"
He was also mobbed as he came off the podium
The crowd erupted when Helen came on stage from the front - her minders struggled to keep the crowds back but she looked unruffled in pink and immediately got into her stride
All three main speakers used big screens set below the stage in front of them which made for fluent speech making.
I took some video footage of the event - here is the final part of Helen's speech on YouTube. For my UK political friends, this is how we do it in South Africa! The ululating, pulsating rhythm is intoxicating and not something you would find at a Conservative Party election rally.