uMkhonto weSizwe Factions Clash Outside KwaZulu-Natal Legislature

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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Two factions of Jacob Zuma’s uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party have allegedly clashed while attempting to submit their parliamentary and provincial candidate lists at the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) legislature in Pietermaritzburg.

What You Need to Know:

According to local press Scrolla Africa, at around 12 pm on Friday afternoon, Nhlanhla Ngidi, the former Director-General of KwaZulu-Natal’s provincial government, attempted to submit an MK party candidate list to the legislature’s Secretary.

Ngidi had been removed from his position as the MK’s provincial convener in April but held that he had maintained his authority within the party.

At the same time, another group of MK leaders, whose identities have not yet been revealed, attempted to submit their own list of parliamentary and provincial candidates, claiming their list had been approved by MK leader Jacob Zuma.

The disagreement led to “shouting and heckling” between the two factions, with the legislature’s Secretary, Narusha Naidoo, urging the two factions to come to an agreement so that one list, as provided for legally, may be submitted.

So, What Now?:

This event is the latest incident of disunity among the MK party, with former MK leader Jabulani Khumalo losing his court bid to be reinstated as the party’s leader after he claimed he had lost his role due to Jacob Zuma’s daughter, forging his signature on a resignation letter.

When Khumalo attempted to take the matter to the courts last week, he was attacked by MK members loyal to Zuma, upon exiting the judicial buildings.

Moreover, the MK has been pushed out of the country’s Government of National Unity (GNU) as well as out of KwaZulu-Natal, as the ruling African National Congress (ANC), the Democratic Alliance (DA), the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), and the National Freedom Party (NFP) joined forces to oust Zuma, who is seen as an unstable force in South African politics.

Despite winning an unexpected 37 seats in the National Assembly and winning 39 out of the 40 seats needed to rule KZN alone, the MK party has suffered defeat after defeat, particularly after attempting to nullify the election results by calling for a re-election.

However, the defeat of MK in KZN is worrying for some, as the province is Zuma’s home province and an MK stronghold. Despite additional security forces being deployed to the province in the immediate aftermath of the election, there is still a potential for violence, particularly as Zuma and his parliamentarians have chosen to boycott the first sitting of the newly elected National Assembly on Friday.

Despite this, the ousting of the MK party as well as Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), who are both seen as divisive forces in the country, is a major step towards positive change in the nation.

The Government of National Unity of 2024 will be the first unity government to be formed in the country since the end of Apartheid in 1994 ,and is likely to bring welcome change to the country whose politics have been dominated by a single party for 30 years.