MK Party set to turn to World Court

Former President Jacob Zuma who now leads uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party addressed the media in Sandton, Johannesburg on Sunday on the 2024 national election and political developments in the country. Picture: Itumeleng English/ Independent Newspapers

Former President Jacob Zuma who now leads uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party addressed the media in Sandton, Johannesburg on Sunday on the 2024 national election and political developments in the country. Picture: Itumeleng English/ Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 18, 2024


Durban — A protracted legal battle is brewing between the uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) and the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) after MKP leader Jacob Zuma alleged that 9 million votes were unaccounted for.

Erstwhile president Zuma made these claims at a media briefing on Sunday in Sandton, where he vowed to challenge the outcome of the May 29 watershed elections all the way to the International Court in The Hague.

This after the MKP’s bid to have the May 29 elections declared invalid, citing a litany of irregularities, failed at the Constitutional Court.

“We presented concrete evidence to the IEC, showing widespread irregularities in the voting process and system, and it has all fallen on deaf ears,” said Zuma in a statement read out by party spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela.

“We have also tried all peaceful means to address our grievances, but all in vain,” Zuma added.

“We have even approached the highest court in the land, but it rejected our pleas without even giving us a hearing; they are relying on technicalities while democracy itself is being destroyed.

“For the record, uMkhonto weSizwe is of the strong view that the 2024 elections were rigged and that the results announced by the IEC are not a true reflection of the will of the people,” the octogenarian said.

Enraged, Zuma, 82, called on MKP supporters to take to the streets to show their disgruntlement over the 2024 election results.

The MKP raked in more than 4.5 million in national and regional votes, leading to 58 seats in the National Assembly, which has 400 seats.

Zuma said MKP’s 58 party representatives in the National Assembly will now attend the second sitting of the House after boycotting the first one on Friday, crying foul over the “rigged elections”.

Arthur Zwane, secretary-general of the MKP, said the hotbeds of the alleged rigging were in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, and Mpumalanga, all the party’s strongholds.

“We have evidence that suggests that the unaccounted for votes were in our strongholds of KZN, Gauteng, and Mpumalanga.

“We view this as a deliberate ploy to block our MKP from governing in any provinces,” said Zwane.

He said his party had “watertight evidence” that the 7th national general elections were allegedly rigged.

“We will fight until the bitter end because we can’t allow the will of the people who voted for the MK Party to be subverted in broad daylight by institutions that claim to represent our democracy. We have watertight evidence,” said Zwane.

In KZN, the MKP scored the most votes at 45.4%, which translated into 37 seats, only four seats short of getting the outright majority in the provincial legislature with 80 seats.

Despite being the majority party in KZN, the MKP failed to make the cut in the provincial government, which is co-governed by the IFP-ANC-DA and the NFP coalition.

The IFP’s strongman Thami Ntuli was elected premier of KZN with 41 votes. He will officially be sworn in on Tuesday (today) in Pietermaritzburg.

He was pitted against deputy prime minister of the Zulu Monarch, Inkosi Phathisiwe Chiliza, who got 38 seats.

At the media briefing, Zuma was joined by aggrieved politicians – including Ace Magashule, the leader of the African Congress for Transformation (ACT).

Magashule, the former secretary-general of the ANC, and Colleen Makhubele, the leader of the South African Rainbow Alliance (Sara), threw their weight behind the MKP’s legal bid.

Magashule told the Daily News: “We also have evidence that the elections were rigged to favour some political parties and disadvantage others – including us (ACT) and the MK Party.”

The MKP will join the Progressive Caucus of the EFF, the UDM, the ATM, the UAT, the Al Jama-ah and the PAC, Zuma announced.

The group has close to 30% of the seats combined in the National Assembly.

Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa was elected for a second term by the Government of National Unity (GNU) bloc last Friday – which includes among others the DA and the IFP.

This is after the ANC slid from the 57% it garnered in the 2019 general elections to 40.5% in the recent elections – its first dip below the outright majority of 50+1% since democracy in 1994.

The IEC has repeatedly refuted any allegations of rigging and irregularities although the elections were marred by glitches.

IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Independent political analyst Thobani Zikalala said: “It would be difficult currently to prove whether the allegations are true or false because the courts have ruled against the MK Party.

“But at this stage, we need peace as a country. The only way to prove these allegations was to do a recount, which the IEC was against.”

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