Zuma Takes Independent Electoral Commission to Court for ‘Vote Rigging’

Jacob Zuma, former President and the de facto leader of South Africa’s newly formed uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party, who won an unexpected 58 seats in parliament following the nation’s May 29th election, has announced his intent to take the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to court over incidents of alleged vote rigging.

What You Need to Know:

Zuma’s MK party has continued to lay claims of electoral fraud and vote rigging following the declaration of the results of South Africa’s watershed election on May 29th, which lost the ruling African National Congress (ANC) 71 seats in parliament, resulting in the loss of the ANC’s parliamentary majority for the first time in 30 years.

Despite winning Zuma’s home province of KwaZulu-Natal, and gaining more votes than Julius Malema’s long-established Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party, the MK has claimed that the IEC ‘stole’ MK votes and ‘gave’ them to the Democratic Alliance (DA) party as well as the ANC.

Speaking outside the Electoral Court on Monday, Zuma stated, “As it is, we are opening a case [against the IEC] today and since we warned them and they didn’t listen, if they go to Parliament, there are a lot of us as uMkhonto Wesizwe (MPs) – we might just boycott going to Parliament.”

“We campaigned very well and people of South Africa showed faith in us. But when it was time for counting ballots, the IEC people did a lot of fraud and took our votes and gave them to other parties, including the ANC,” the former President said.

In the days since the election, the MK party has shared various clips and photos of its party members uncovering ballot boxes and ballot papers in grassy areas and in the backs of refuse vehicles. However, these MK members seem to be the first on the scene, with the police arriving later, which raises questions over the validity of MK’s claims.

The Details:

In addition to the MK’s electoral drama is a court case, currently being heard by Gauteng’s High Court, over claims from former MK leader Jabulani Khumalo that he was incorrectly dismissed as party head to make way for Zuma to assume the position. Jabulani claimed in court on Monday that Zuma’s daughter, Duduzile Zuma-Sambudla, forged a letter in Khumalo’s name which was then sent to the IEC to allow for his resignation.

Khumalo’s lawyer, advocate Mfesane Ka-Siboto, said in court, “They [IEC] say Mr Khumalo said over a telephone call that he does not wish to change the leader of the MK party.” According to local press, the IEC then dispatched an email to confirm Khumalo’s resignation.

“She [Zuma-Sambudla] then responds to that email, omits Mr Khumalo’s name as a copied party and furnishes this purported resignation letter by my client. She [Zuma-Sambudla], in that letter, says, ‘I, Mr Khumalo, resign and I appoint Mr Zuma as the president of uMkhonto Wesizwe.’ Mr Khumalo had no knowledge of this letter.”

The High Court chose to reserve its judgment, with Khumalo being attacked by disgruntled MK supporters as he attempted to leave the vicinity.


So, What Now?:

Zuma’s claims of alleged vote rigging have stirred up fear in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal, where in July 2021, riots over Zuma’s jailing left 354 dead and hundreds of shops looted and burnt. According to local press, officers of the Public Order Police Unit as well as the Tactical Response Team were deployed to the region in anticipation of civil unrest. As yet, no such incidents have been reported.

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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