Zuma to save ANC by voting against it

Former South African president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Leon Lestrade/Independent Newspapers

Former South African president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Leon Lestrade/Independent Newspapers

Published Dec 17, 2023


Durban — Former president Jacob Zuma will go head-to-head with the ANC in next year’s general elections after announcing on Saturday that he’d be voting for the new uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) party.

Although he pledged his undying loyalty to the ANC, saying “I’ll be a member of the ANC till I die”, he said the party had lost its way and no longer represented the people.

He said like former president Thabo Mbeki, he could not campaign for the party and would instead “rescue” it through the ballot and not the bullet.

“I cannot and will not campaign for the ANC of Ramaphosa. My conscience will not allow me to lie to the people of South Africa that the ANC of Ramaphosa is the ANC of Luthuli, Tambo and Mandela. It is not the ANC that I joined,” he told a media briefing in Soweto.

Zuma addressed the audience in a frail voice and his speech was read out by his daughter, Duduzile.

Detailing a list of grievances for which he said Ramaphosa was responsible, such as load shedding and the violence and deaths which occurred during the 2021 riots when he was jailed, Zuma said he could no longer watch how the party had disintegrated especially under the leadership of Ramaphosa, who was a “proxy for white monopoly capital”.

He said more details about the MK Party would be revealed early next year. The ANC has already indicated it would take strong action against the party for using a name synonymous with the ANC and for copyright infringement. The party was reportedly registered by Jabulani Khumalo in KZN in September.

ANC spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri said Zuma’s statement was noted, while Mxoliso Nyuswa, KZN chairperson of the uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA), said they were confused and saddened.

Nyuswa said, “losing a veteran like Zuma is making us confused as to what is happening to our glorious liberation movement”. She said members of the MKMVA stood with the ANC and would support it in challenging the name of the uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) Party.

Sunday Tribune