MK party confident it will topple ANC and rule SA after elections

Former president Jacob Zuma canvassing votes for the newly-formed uMkhonto weSizwe party. Picture: @DZumaSambudla/X

Former president Jacob Zuma canvassing votes for the newly-formed uMkhonto weSizwe party. Picture: @DZumaSambudla/X

Published Jan 14, 2024


THE newly-formed uMkhonto weSizwe political party is confident that it will topple the ANC and lead South Africa after the 2024 general elections.

The party believes it is the answer for those who have lost hope and confidence in the current government administration, led by the ANC.

Speaking exclusively to the Sunday Independent, spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela said the MK party intended to get a two-third majority of voters and many seats in Parliament after the elections.

“These will be from citizens and mainly youth who have been patiently waiting for this movement, a movement that speaks to their needs. We see ourselves as a leading movement in our country that will strengthen relations with our counterparts in many countries; focus on stabilising the economy; end load shedding, which had a negative effect in the past five years; and reduce high unemployment,” he said.

The MK took many by surprise when, in September last year, it registered with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to contest this year’s elections.

The party, which uses the MK trademark, was endorsed by former president Jacob Zuma, who announced that while he remained an ANC member, he would not campaign for the ANC under President Cyril Ramaphosa – and encouraged South Africans to vote for the new party.

Ndhlela said the party has received an overwhelming amount of support from many people across the country, and had received over a million applications within five days of it being unveiled.

“The system crashed for a few hours because the link was very active. Just recently, over 6.7 million people had accessed our site, others to register and many others browsing through our site to get information.

“We are still processing thousands of registrations per day. Judging from our observation, our people are happy about the launch of the uMkhonto weSizwe party. They finally feel they have a political home that will address critical issues and drive progressive policies.” said Ndhlela.

He said MK represents the ideas of “our” fallen struggle heroes, whose wishes and fight were to see people freed, more especially the African race who were oppressed by the apartheid regime system. Ndhlela said the party also represents those who are marginalised and seek equality, opportunities and economic freedom.

Ndhlela said South Africans have had to face many challenges under the current government; people had been disgruntled for a very long time.

“Many of their issues have never been addressed, ie the collapse and sale of state-owned entities; load shedding; water shedding; unemployment; PPE corruption; abuse of State resources; [the] deteriorating state of public institutions; no salary increase for public personnel; [a] failure to pay grants on time; the current president's Phala Phala scandal; and loss of confidence in the judiciary.

“These have been very serious concerns that citizens have been raising, but were never given attention or addressed. uMkhonto weSizwe party came at a time when people needed a home, a place where they would feel heard and respected, and their concerns addressed. It is therefore this reason why we have seen many people joining uMkhonto weSizwe.

“The mood in the country has changed, and millions of people are having hope again. We will strive to live up to their expectations from us and always work towards fulfilling their hopes and dreams for seeing a better functioning country with dedicated leadership, therefore MK party is a threat to any organisation that is heartless to black people,” said Ndhlela.

Sankarist law academic and activist David Letsoalo said the MK has spectacularly added to the excitement and euphoria in the electioneering season. He said this was a necessary catalyst and spark “that will surely stimulate interest among the electorate ahead of the 2024 elections”.

“Critically, the MK party will play a big role in influencing the overall outcome of the elections. In specific terms, I think, it will determine the fortunes and future of the ANC post elections in the likely event of the need for coalition alignments. So, in that sense, the emergence of the MK party is a welcome development in this scenario of electoral politics.”

Letsoalo added that the involvement of Msholozi in the party would attract many people, especially those disappointed by whatever issues and dynamics within the ANC.

“The Zuma factor has automatically set the MK party apart from the other parties that have just mushroomed in [ahead of] the looming general elections,” he said.

“It has catapulted the party to a very high level as already demonstrated since December 16, 2023. It’s a boon for this party to have the former president of the 112-year-old ANC and the country as a key role player and leader. It’s something unprecedented, which is an element one could have barely imagined until it happened recently. The ANC is well aware of this reality, hence their haphazard and vitriolic reaction to Zuma and the MK party. These are clear signs of panic and anxiety.”

For political analyst Kim Heller, the MK party is likely to take a sizeable chunk of the ANC’s traditional voter base in key provinces, especially KZN. She added that the party may well be the one newcomer in a crowded field of political contenders to stand out from the crowd and attract a pool of dissatisfied voters, not only from the ANC, but from the voting universe as a whole.

“It could also draw on the support of undecided voters and new voters. In many ways, a vote for the MK party is a strong rally call or protest vote against Ramaphosa’s administration and a governing party that is failing to deliver basic services and material economic well-being to its citizens.”

Heller said the involvement of Zuma could propel MK from simply being one of some 200 political parties expected to compete in the 2024 election to being a party that could be a kingmaker in the important KZN province, as well as nationally.

“Despite being out of office, Zuma continues to garner much support across many parts of South Africa, and across a huge [number] of ANC disgruntled members.”

According to higher education and strategy consultant Professor Sipho Seepe, the MK has defined itself as an alternative to the “ANC of Ramaphosa”, which has sold itself to serving white monopoly interests.

“In doing so, it (MK) seeks to advance the position of the ANC as articulated in 2017. The 2017 ANC resolutions were about radically changing the trajectory and approaches that had not brought the improved material conditions of the African majority.

“By positioning itself as such, it hopes to attract many disgruntled members of the ANC. This includes those who share the same frustration as those that were publicly shared by Dr. Mavuso Msimang,” said Seepe.