Cape Town — Jacob Zuma has become a thorn in the side of his former party, the ANC, after he announced his intentions to vote for the newly-formed uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) party.
Leaders of the MK, the military wing of the ANC, have labelled him as a an opportunist for creating a “fake” MK party and warned that recent developments could be costly for the ruling party in KZN ahead of the general elections, The Citizen reported.
During a press briefing in Johannesburg on Saturday, Zuma announced that he will be voting for MK and not campaigning for the ANC in the upcoming general elections.
According to political analyst, Ntsikelelo Breakfast, it is likely that some of Zuma’s staunch supporters within the ANC would follow him to the new party.
“In KZN, Zuma is even more popular than President Cyril Ramaphosa,” The Witness quoted Breakfast as saying. .
Prior to Zuma’s Saturday announcement, it was reported that individuals calling themselves MK members were distributing the new party’s membership forms in Pietermaritzburg and other areas across the province.
Former South African President Jacob Zuma says he will remain in the governing ANC party for the rest of his life but will not campaign for the party in next year’s elections pic.twitter.com/mFQUBqQG6u
— TRT Afrika (@trtafrika) December 19, 2023
However, MKLWV KZN provincial secretary, Nathi Mdladla, said he was not aware of any of the organisation’s members who have joined the new party.
“As MKLWV in KZN we know nothing about this political party which is using our organisation’s name. Yes, of course it’s true that Zuma is part of us, but that doesn’t mean we will follow him wherever he goes.”
Zuma has drawn a ton of criticism from members of the ANC, with KZN leader, Bheki Mloto, calling the new MK fake, and added that Zuma has “divorced” the party.
For you to join uMkhonto weSizwe, the first step is that you must be a guerrilla of uMkhonto weSizwe – you should’ve gone underground, you should know your camp at exile,” he said.
“Now, for this one, they recruit anyone. Even my child, who was born in 2000, can be part of this new uMkhonto weSizwe. This is a clear sign that this is not a true uMkhonto weSizwe, it’s a fake uMkhonto weSizwe,” Mtolo said.
According to EWN, Mtolo also pointed out that in the ANC’s 111-year history, there had never been a former president and senior leader of the movement who publicly campaigned against the organisation.
“It is also no exhalation to state that this is a form of gross indiscipline. We note comrade Msholozi’s Zuma assessing. We will continue to tell our people that the ANC is still the ANC that they have trusted since 1994.”
MK Liberation War Veterans are slamming Jacob Zuma’s weekend remarks. They say he violated several sections of the ANC constitution. The former president expressed support for a new political party and vowed not to vote for the ANC. #DStv403 #eNCA pic.twitter.com/jJn3TYTIrs
— eNCA (@eNCA) December 19, 2023
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Compiled by Matthew Petersen