ANC Attempts to Block MK Party From Appearing on Voting Ballot

What You Need to Know:

Lawyer’s for South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) have taken Jacob Zuma’s uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party from appearing on the country’s 2024 voting ballot. The ANC alleges that it was unconstitutional for the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to accept a supplemented registration application from the MK party. 

The ANC has taken the matter to the Electoral Court, something which MK’s advocate, Dali Mpofu, claims can only be done once the ANC has exhausted all other measures to address the issue. 

Mpofu has also claimed that the ANC is attempting to bar MK from appearing on the ballot due to it being led by Jacob Zuma, a former ANC member and President of the nation from 2009-2018. Furthermore, the ANC is claiming the MK party ‘stole’ its logo and name from the ANC’s armed wing of the same name. The paramilitary wing, which conducted bombing campaigns against government installations, disarmed in 1993, with the ANC claiming only it had rights to the name and logo.

The Details:

Tensions between the two parties have run high in recent weeks, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal province, where both parties have a sizeable supporter base. As previously reported, the province was rocked by violence in 2021, as a result of the release of an arrest warrant for Zuma. Thousands of shops were looted and burnt and 354 civilians killed in some of the worst violence seen in the region since the end of Apartheid. 

The threat of violence in the run up to the country’s election in May is high, with the MK party’s Youth League (MKYL) interim leader Bonginkosi Khanyile stating during a press conference last Wednesday, that if the MK party does not appear on the ballot, there would be no elections in the country. 

“If they remove the MK party and President Jacob Zuma from the ballot as the face of the campaign and try to take our rights, there won’t be elections in South Africa. We are not joking. We mean it,” said Khanyile to local reporters.

Additionally, MK’s KwaZulu-Natal candidate, Visvin Reddy, while speaking outside of a Durban High Court the same week made a similar threat, “we are sending a loud and clear message, if these courts which are sometimes captured try stop MK, there will be anarchy in this country. There will be riots like you have never seen in this country. There will be no elections.” 

In response, Presidency Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, stated “law enforcement agencies must do their work to apprehend those who intimidate South Africans as instructed by the president. There is nobody who is going to intimidate South Africans. There will be free and fair elections in this country; we will protect that with all we have.”

In a concerning development Bonginkosi Khanyile claimed that the MK party would not be “defeated by soldiers who could not stop the 2021 unrest.” 

Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger is a Political Science Graduate from the University of Otago, New Zealand. Currently working as an Editor for The ModernInsurgent and writing for Atlas News, her interests include conflict politics, history, yoga and meditation.

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