Durban — Former ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule had every right to do as he pleased, including forming his own political party outside the ANC, the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal said.
This comes after Magashule launched his party, the African Convention for Transformation (ACT), on Wednesday.
Magashule was expelled by the ANC after it found him guilty of two counts of misconduct and contravening the party’s constitution. Former Hawks head Dumisa Ntlemeza has reportedly joined Magashule’s party.
KZN ANC spokesperson Mafika Mndebele said that like any other South African, Magashule was free to find his own political home.
“We must remember that Magashule was expelled from the ANC, therefore we have no say over what he chooses to do. He is now a non-member of the African National Congress,” Mndebele said.
Unveiling the party, Magashule said it would be centred on African nationalism and pan-Africanism.
Magashule said his party was a broad collection of interest groups including freedom fighters, the unemployed and religious groups.
Professor Sipho Seepe, the University of Zululand’s deputy vice-chancellor of institutional support, said the South African political space was already saturated with political parties.
He said Magashule’s new party would have to fight for a place.
Seepe said it came as no surprise that Magashule had decided to form his own political party after he was expelled from the ANC.
“His chances are limited. He will have to focus his attention to make inroads in his own Free State province, where he has support and where his constituency is based,” Seepe said.
Independent political analyst and management consultant Thabani Khumalo said that it was going to be difficult for the smaller parties to attract voters. He said, however, that the mainstream parties should be worried by the emergence of these smaller parties.
“Because they will all be fishing from the same pond, it is likely to make the larger parties lose their voters. Their other concern should be that many voters are now disillusioned and have become apathetic, because of their loss of trust in mainstream political parties,” Khumalo said.
Nelson Mandela University Professor of Political Science and International Relations Bheki Mngomezulu said: “If I were to advise Magashule, he would not have formed his own party. A party formed out of anger is most likely not going to survive the political milestone.
“Bringing together disgruntled people who are driven by anger is dangerous. Once their anger subsides, they are likely to fight against each other for positions,” Mngomezulu said.
“A good example is that of Cope, which was formed by a group of the ANC that was angry at former president Jacob Zuma. The party is now falling apart as its leaders are turning against each other in their fight for positions,”
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