Zuma pleads for donations for MKP

Former president Jacob Zuma has used social media to plead for donations for MK Party. Picture: Timothy Bernard / Independent Newspapers.

Former president Jacob Zuma has used social media to plead for donations for MK Party. Picture: Timothy Bernard / Independent Newspapers.

Published Mar 18, 2024


Durban — Former president Jacob Zuma has approached members of the public with a begging bowl pleading for donations to the Umkhonto Wesizwe Party (MKP).

The party will launch its manifesto on a date still to be announced.

Zuma has taken to social media platforms to launch his party’s official fundraising initiative.

The MKP is facing legal challenges brought by the ANC over the use of the name and logo of the now-defunct liberation army.

Party leaders such as its spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela and its youth leader Bonginkosi Khanyile have repeatedly said that the party did not have access to business owners with deep pockets.

Appearing on X, previously known as Twitter, the former president requested South Africans “who feel that South Africa must change to be a South Africa that we are proud of” to donate.

“We are therefore asking and requesting everyone for whatever amount you could put in this effort.

“It would be highly appreciated, it would also take us further,” he said.

Zuma said the party wanted to use money that came from ordinary people and did not want to rely on the funds from the “wrong people”.

“We want genuine contributions to be made to this genuine political party,” he said.

While some of his followers responded positively to his plea by saying “Give us the account number” others were negative and said “Where is Muammar Gaddafi’s money” and “Why don’t you ask the Guptas”.

While parties who are represented in the provincial and national parliaments get party funding from the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), those that do not have parliamentary seats get none.

KwaZulu-Natal IEC spokesperson Thabani Ngwira said parties that were represented in parliament had a free ride to use their funds from the IEC for campaign purposes.

“It is up to them what they want to use funds for as long they submit audited financial statements,” said Ngwira.

Political analyst Professor Lesiba Teffo said Zuma’s plea for funding was justified.

“Is there anything wrong in doing that while other parties are doing that? All of them are doing that.

“You go to those with deeper pockets because if you asked (ordinary people) to give you R10 or R1, it won’t take you far,” said Teffo.

But Teffo described Zuma’s statement that he did not want money from the wrong people as controversial.

“He doesn’t want money from who? Big business? I doubt if that is something that one can say or if he genuinely means that.

“It is a political statement, he is taking a shot at some of his opponents who are being financed by big cooperates. Who in South Africa is not being funded by big corporates? It is expensive to run a political party,” he said.

He said the ANC taking the matter of the MKP's name to court was an attempt to undermine Zuma.

“For me, the truth is they did not expect him to throw a ball to the extent he did. So if they can undermine or weaken him by any means possible, they will do that and that is in the nature of politics,” said Teffo.

Ndhlela said the plea for donations was not only limited to ordinary citizens as business people who are generous with their cash were also welcomed.

“It is open to anyone that would like to fund us from the ordinary citizens to businesses who believe in the cause of MKP,” he said.

Ndhlela said it was currently impossible to say whether or not the plea had fallen on fertile soil as the campaign was new and people might be doubting its legitimacy.

“We now want to do this via our website so that it will have more trust and legitimacy around it,” he said.

The party will need money for its manifesto launch. Ndhlela remained tight-lipped when asked which stadium was this event going to take place. He previously only disclosed that it would be at a stadium in Johannesburg, which is bigger than Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium.

When pressed to disclose the date for the launch, he said the party was keeping that as secret for now.

“Remember that we are dealing with people who don’t want us. We have seen it in Alexandra where people tried to block us in terms of a security clearance from the city. How can I disclose when there are people who are going to try to block us?”

Sunday Tribune