MKP members bicker over allocation of legislature seats

MK Party leader Jacob Zuma arrives at the National Results Operation Centre in Midrand. Picture: Oupa Mokoena / Independent Newspapers

MK Party leader Jacob Zuma arrives at the National Results Operation Centre in Midrand. Picture: Oupa Mokoena / Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 17, 2024


Durban — The uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) has brushed aside suggestions that tension surrounding their list of candidates for members of provincial legislature (MPLs) seats, which bubbled over outside the KZN legislature on Friday, hampered their chances to lead government.

As MPLs prepared for the swearing-in ceremony, a scuffle broke out between MKP members and supporters outside the legislature.

They squabbled over the list that had been submitted to the legislature. Independent Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) spokesperson Thabani Ngwira indicated that the MKP members’ list, like other political parties’, was the one that had been published by the IEC following the announcement of results.

He pointed out that circumstances such as resignations or deaths would result in list changes.

Spokesperson for the office of the speaker, Nomusa Phungula, confirmed that there had been changes to the MKP list, which had been done at their insistence.

“On 10th June, uMkhonto weSizwe officially wrote to the legislature indicating the expulsion of members and provided a supplementary list.

“The MKP depleted its list, therefore qualified for supplementation.”

She pointed out that there were no time frames for the supplementation of lists.

On Friday the MKP narrowly lost contests for the speaker, deputy speaker and premier positions.

It prompted some to suggest that if they had properly planned for the sitting and lobbied they could have snatched the positions from the ANC, DA, IFP and NFP block.

The MKP’s spokesperson, Nhlamulo Ndhlela, defended the apparent eleventh-hour alteration to the list.

He said they had to send the best of their crop for deployment, and were prepared to make changes if required.

He also dismissed the block that won, labelling it “a collective of rejects” because of the low number of votes that these parties recorded individually when compared to the MKP.

“Friday’s outcome is one of a conglomerate of rejects,” he said.

Ndhlela pointed out that the party was within its rights to determine where its members should be deployed.

“We know that comrades may want to go to Parliament and the legislature, but it is important that anyone who represents us has sufficient capacity to do so.

“Additionally, everyone that serves does so as deployed by the organisation. No one operates on their own.”

The leader of the MKP in the KZN legislature is former KwaZulu-Natal House of Traditional Leaders chairperson, inkosi Phathisizwe Chiliza.

Sunday Tribune