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Former President Zuma Dominates MK Party's Electoral List amid Controversies

Published March 11, 2024
2 months ago

In a surprising turn of events within South African politics, former president Jacob Zuma, suspended from the ANC, has emerged as the principal figure on the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party’s national candidate list for the approaching 29 May general election. The leaked list that reached the digital corridors of social media over the weekend presents a lineup of Zuma’s close affiliates set to vie for legislative seats, should the MK party garner sufficient electoral support.

The MK party's connection to Zuma adds a complex layer since he still retains his membership with the ANC, despite being the first ex-president to be bench-lined by the party. Hammocked by a unanimous ANC national executive committee decision, Zuma’s suspension crystallized over his overt endorsement of an alternative political entity, considered a violation of the ANC constitution.

Zuma's contentious place at the helm is followed by Jabulani Khumalo, credited with the MK party's registration and touted as an outward extension of Zuma's political strategies. High on the candidate register is Visvin Reddy, leading the KwaZulu-Natal wing, notorious for his aggressive stance that rattled the Electoral Commission into potentially barring the party’s election run—a situation diffused by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s stern warning against electoral violence.

Prominent names shadow Zuma on the list, rekindling memories of past turmoils—the likes of Des van Rooyen and Durban entrepreneur Roy Moodley, who surfaced significantly during the State Capture Inquiry helmed by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. Another intriguing insert on the register is Zuma’s daughter, Duduzile Zuma-Sambudla, embroiled in controversy for her alleged role in fuelling the July 2021 unrest through social media provocations, albeit never formally charged.

The echelons of the MK party are further swelled by established figures like former EFF member, Sipho Mbatha, and Zanele Lwana of the Black First Land First movement, showcasing a mix of political experience and activism. As the elections loom, the MK party's list emblematic of Zuma’s influence stands as a testament to the factional dynamics playing out in South Africa’s political theatre, and it poses questions about the country's path forward amidst political realignments and the aftershocks of internal party dissent.

However, with South Africa’s intricate electoral landscape, the entry of the MK party, studded with controversial figures, is generating a narrative that shifts from internal party rifts to spotlighting the broader challenge facing South Africa’s democracy—navigating the reality of parallel political loyalties and the emergent political formations on the national stage as the election momentum builds.

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