City councillor and Zuma stalwart looks set for MP seat

eThekwini Municipality councillor Visvin Reddy is set to go to parliament on MKP ticket. Photo: Supplied

eThekwini Municipality councillor Visvin Reddy is set to go to parliament on MKP ticket. Photo: Supplied

Published Mar 12, 2024


Durban — Outspoken eThekwini councillor Visvin Reddy is set to leave City politics for Parliament.

Reddy, a staunch supporter of former president Jacob Zuma, has cracked the nod for a top 10 position on the uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) national list.

In the list of 200 names leaked at the weekend, Zuma himself is at the top followed by Jabulani Khumalo, the national commander of the party.

Reddy is at number nine which makes him likely to get a seat judging by recent polls which projected the party would perform better than the EFF.

Also secure on the list was Zuma’s long-time ally and former ANC cabinet minister Des Van Rooyen at number 12. Zuma’s daughter Duduzile was also safe at number 18. The national spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhela is at number 25.

Speaking to the Daily News on Monday, Reddy confirmed the leaked list as genuine. He also confirmed making it to the top 10 but expressed concern over the leak of the lists by individuals within the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC).

“While I am humbled to have earned a place in the Top 10 candidates selected by the MKP to go to the national Parliament, the recent leak of party candidates’ lists by an IEC official is concerning.

“According to the IEC’s timetable, the final lists will only be confirmed after March 27, 2024, after a rigorous vetting process to ensure compliance with the Electoral Act,” said Reddy.

The leak was particularly worrying, he said, since it raised questions about the institution’s ability to manage such significant tasks as elections. The MKP demanded that the individual responsible for the leak be identified and held accountable. Reddy said although the party list was not a secret, it should not have been released until all final processes have been completed.

Reddy cautioned all candidates and reminded them that there was still a lot of work to be done before election day and the period thereafter.

He projected that the MKP would perform exceptionally well and achieve a two-thirds majority.

It was important to remember that the task ahead was daunting, he said.

“Our people are desperate for change and a chance to improve their lives due to the ANC’s management of the country under Ramaphosa’s leadership.

“We must see an end to corruption, load shedding, lack of service delivery, and quicken the radical economic transformation that president Zuma began while he was head of state.

“The condition of the black child has worsened under this ANC-led administration. The issue of land must be addressed. The ultimate goal should be to remove the ANC from power in government and to ensure that Parliament is not run by a coalition of parties. In either case, our citizens will suffer the consequences,” warned Reddy.

About the future of his party, the African Democratic Change, Reddy said the membership would decide whether it would still contest the 2026 local government elections separately from MKP or foster a merger.

Contrary to the view that the MKP list would contain prominent ANC members who would have joined the party by now, none of the well-known ANC members have appeared on the leaked list, except Van Rooyen.

In KwaZulu-Natal, Siphiwe Mpungose is the only recognised former ANC member from the eThekwini region to crack the party nod. Mpungose was an eThekwini regional committee member before deflecting to the MKP.

Sitting at 196 on the list, Mpungose was unlikely to make the cut. He is currently on the provincial elections team. Another notable name was Phumlani Mfeka, who is also the leader of the Zulu nationalist organisation Injenje yabeNguni. Mfeka is at 175 on the list.

Meanwhile, the IEC could potentially face criminal charges for leaking the list since it had reflected the candidates’ ID numbers, a breach of privacy and personal data protection.

In terms of South Africa’s Protection of Personal Information Act (Popia), it is a criminal offence to release to the public personal information about a citizen without their consent.

The IEC said it was investigating the leak.

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