Boycotting first parliamentary session fruitless, say analysts

MK Party leader Jacob Zuma. Picture: Timothy Bernard / Independent Newspapers

MK Party leader Jacob Zuma. Picture: Timothy Bernard / Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 5, 2024


Political analysts say the uMkhonto weSizwe Party‘s (MKP) parliamentary boycott would not affect proceedings on the first day of Parliament sitting.

However, Andre Duvenage told The Star on Wednesday that Parliament would need to have a quorum in order to pass certain laws, saying that was where the party would cause an upset.

“We know that we need a quorum in order to take a certain decisions and it may have an impact on the quorum. If the totals are showing that it’s below a certain percentage it can have an impact on the procedure and that would be the strategy of the MKP to disrupt the procedure as far as possible,” the analyst said.

He added that he didn’t think the party’s move was a good one as he believed it was undemocratic.

“My take on this is that this is brutal power politics, which is close to violence. To me, it’s a clear strategy to disrupt the existing system, maybe even worse than the EFF has done and its leader in the previous administration.”

Another political analyst, Goodenough Mashigo, shared Duvenage’s sentiment, saying that the Constitution was very clear in that the first sitting was determined by quorum.

However, Mashigo said it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that a quorum would be met without the MKP’s participation.

“The absence of MKP is not going to disrupt the proceedings and it will really be good for the people of South Africa. Boycotting a parliamentary sitting means boycotting other processes, such as submitting their banking details,” he added.

He said the MKP’s boycott should be across the board in that they should also boycott the legislatures they have a presence in.

Jacob Zuma’s party threatened a boycott after it raised concerns over electoral irregularities. It raised its dissatisfaction with the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) for declaring the elections despite objections had Zuma raised.

Addressing supporters outside the Gauteng High Court, Johannesburg, on Monday, he said the party would open a case against the IEC because it believed that it was cheated of votes despite the MKP breaking a record by attaining more than 2 million votes in its first election contestation.