ANC fails to stop Zuma’s new political party

Stefanus Nashama

The African National Congress (ANC), which governs South Africa, has lost a legal battle to prevent a newly formed party, backed by former President Jacob Zuma, from participating in the general election in May this year.

The party in question is called uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK), named after the now-defunct armed branch of the ANC.

This development is expected to impact ANC’s support, given Zuma’s endorsement of the MK party.

According to a report by the BBC yesterday, the electoral court dismissed the ANC’s claim that the MK party did not meet the official registration requirements.

Supporters of MK, dressed in green, celebrated outside the court after the ruling was announced.

It was reported that the ANC has accepted the court’s decision and will abide by it, with the party’s spokesperson stating that the matter was not about the ANC taking action against the MK and that they had no objection to the MK’s participation in the election, provided that their registration complied with the law.

The ANC has also initiated separate legal proceedings against the MK party, alleging copyright infringement.

Some polls predict that the ANC’s vote share could drop below 50 percent for the first time in thirty years in the election scheduled for May 29.

Zuma, who hails from KwaZulu-Natal, his home province, appears to be diverting some support from the ANC, which has governed the country since 1994.

According to reports, Zuma did not establish the MK party but endorsed it in December 2023. Since then, he has been suspended from the ANC.

Zuma served in the ANC’s MK, which was created to combat apartheid and white-minority rule. He was the President of South Africa for nine years, from 2009 until he was forced from power and replaced by President Cyril Ramaphosa, due to corruption allegations, which Zuma denies.

The ANC accused Zuma of diluting the “proud history of armed struggle against the apartheid regime” by making “opportunistic use of military symbolism” following his support of the MK party.

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