Drama as MK supporters attack former party leader Khumalo

South Africa Johannesburg MK name case 03 June 2024. MK supporters sing and dance outside the South Gauteng high court as the MK name case continues with party president Jacob Zuma present. Picture: Timothy Bernard / Independent Newspapers.

South Africa Johannesburg MK name case 03 June 2024. MK supporters sing and dance outside the South Gauteng high court as the MK name case continues with party president Jacob Zuma present. Picture: Timothy Bernard / Independent Newspapers.

Published Jun 3, 2024


The uMkhonto weSizwe Party has remained mum over the violent scenes which overshadowed the legal matter between the MK and its founder, Jabulani Khumalo, over ownership of the party in the Electoral Court sitting in the Gauteng High Court, Johannesburg.

This comes after Khumalo was on Monday attacked by visibly angry MK Party supporters who were outside the court, following the Electoral Court’s hearing regarding the ownership and leadership of the party.

Khumalo recently alleged that its now leader Jacob Zuma was “unlawfully” named as the MK leader by the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC). This while Zuma has reiterated that Khumalo was only an interim leader and was given orders to register the party on his behalf.

The attack on Khumalo comes just two days after its spokesperson, Nhlamulo Ndhlela, said the party was not violent during a media briefing at the IEC results centre in Midrand.

Ndhlela, who chaired the briefing on Saturday, rejected claims made by the media that the MK Party was a violent organisation.

“Just last night, our party lost two of its members. Yet you want to portray us as violent. This narrative you are trying to drive that the MK Party is a party of violent people must come to an end.

“When you as the media report, you must report responsibly; president Zuma has never ever uttered words of violence. The values of this party are that of its leader, president Zuma. You have never heard president Zuma raise his voice. This narrative of violence must come to an end,” he said.

However, chaos erupted on Monday outside court after the matter was heard.

South Africa Johannesburg MK name case 03 June 2024. The car of Bongani Khumalo who claims to be the original owner of the MK name rushes away from the South Gauteng high court after the appearance there on the name case against MK. Picture: Timothy Bernard / Independent Newspapers.

Media reports also indicated that party supporters attacked Khumalo as they pelted him with objects resulting in security guards crashing into two cars while trying to escape the volatile situation. Some members said they rejected being led by Khumalo.

The court heard that the application was a waste of the court’s time and abuse of court processes. This was submitted in court by advocate Dali Mpofu SC, representing the MK Party and Zuma.

“I just want to start here by almost apologising that we have to be here with such a matter which is a waste of the court’s time, and that it is why in our heads (of argument) we say it is unfortunate and and embarrassing that this count has to convene on an urgent basis for a matter based on frivolous, baseless, unsubstantiated and false so-called evidence,” Mpofu told the packed court, sitting in the High Court in Johannesburg.

“This is at best an abuse of the court process and I talk about costs at the end. Essentially, what we are here for is a concoction of demonstrable lies by Mr Khumalo, made-up stories, defamation of character in particular of former president Zuma, Ms Zuma-Sambudla, and the people who used to be in the interim national leadership corps with him.”

Khumalo’s lawyers argued that the IEC should not have accepted a letter from Zuma’s daughter, Duduzile Zuma-Sambudla. They said Khumalo’s letter alerting the IEC of his resignation from the party should have been verified.

Mpofu revealed that Khumalo wrote two letters to the IEC, and the commission also confirmed receiving them despite Khumalo claiming that his resignation letter sent to the commission was forged by Zuma-Sambudla.

Khumalo is adamant he is the sole owner and founder of the now National Assembly-represented party with 58 seats.

Khumalo alleges that communication to the IEC about the party’s leadership was forged with his lawyer, advocate, Mfesane Ka-Siboto, saying the case had nothing to do with the elections, but the real ownership of the party which belongs to his client.

Advocate Philisiwe May, for the party and Zuma, asked thus: “If this has nothing to do with the elections, why are we here on an urgent basis?”

Outside the court, while addressing MK Party members, Zuma called for supporters to be calm and refrain from violence.

“Do not use violence but your intelligence to deal with this matter. We are not done with this matter and we must not rush; and I see some people want to use violence and burn things because they are angry. We must show them that we are modern people. They want to forge results because they have failed to govern. We must govern our land responsibly,” Zuma urged.

The matter was reserved.