Electoral Court Rules uMkhonto weSizwe Party Can Appear on Voting Ballot

Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger
Bianca holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Otago, New Zealand. As the Africa Desk Chief for Atlas, her expertise spans conflict, politics, and history. She is also the Editor for The ModernInsurgent and has interests in yoga and meditation.

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What You Need to Know:

South Africa’s Electoral Court in Johannesburg has today ruled that it does not have the jurisdiction to de-register the uMkhonto weSizwe Party, after the ruling African National Congress (ANC) claimed MK could not appear on the May 29 ballot due to it submitting a supplemented registration application to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). 

The ANC alleged that the IEC’s acceptance of MK’s supplemented registration application was unconstitutional, and thus, the party could not appear on the voting ballot. 

However, the Electoral Court ruled that the ANC did not exhaust all other means available through the IEC, instead bringing the matter straight to the court, which undermines the provisions of the Electoral Commission Act. 

The Details: 

As previously reported, MK’s advocate Dali Mpofu, argued that, “the ANC attempted 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 claimed 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 court’s decision further hampers the ANC’s efforts to win the Presidential election set for the 29th of May. For the first time since gaining power in 1994, the ANC is projected to receive less than 50% of the vote. Come election day, if the ANC does receive less than 50% of the vote and does not gain power through a coalition, it would signal the end of the ANC’s nearly 30-year long rule in South Africa. 

Under the ANC, violent crime, kidnapping, rape, and corruption has skyrocketed in South Africa. Political killings, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal Province, where both the ANC and MK have large support bases, are especially prevalent.