Nit-picking over use of ‘MK’ in Zuma party name rages on

MK Party leader Jacob Zuma. | SUPPLIED

MK Party leader Jacob Zuma. | SUPPLIED

Published Mar 21, 2024


Former ANC stalwart and uMkhonto weSizwe military wing member Pat Matosa said former president Jacob Zuma was technically correct but practically, historically, and politically wrong on his stance on how the party’s military wing was formed.

Matosa said the MK was formed and maintained to be separate and different from the ANC.

“MK was formed by both members of the SACP and the ANC. In its content and membership, MK became dominated by members of the ANC and its leadership. Nelson Mandela became the first leader of MK and not president (Albert) Luthuli.

“MK maintained a technically different and separate structure from the ANC while at the same time, the overwhelming majority of MK members were members of the ANC. Except for hair splitting, it’s politically difficult to separate the ANC from MK,” the former military wing member said.

Furthermore, Matosa said the MK was a military formation that was highly politically conscious, adding that for one to be given a gun at the time, they were expected to be conscious for getting behind the gun and also be a politically conscious soldier.

“A soldier without political consciousness is a terrorist, a bandit. MK was a political military army and not a political party until its formal and legal disbandment by the ANC.”

Matosa was addressing Zuma’s assertions he made on Tuesday in Bloemfontein outside the Electoral Court at the Supreme Court of Appeal where he told scores of MK Party supporters that the ANC’s military wing was just an alliance of the ANC at the time.

While giving a brief background on the formation of uMkhonto weSizwe, Zuma said it was fitting that they continued using the name because it represented what he stood for and his legacy, adding that it did not belong to the ANC.

Zuma, however, acknowledged that back then, the uMkhonto was a military wing, saying it was now a political party which they represented.

He also told his supporters that he was adamant that his party would win the case.

Meanwhile, Matosa also believed that the MK Party would win the case, saying that he did not think that the ANC had a solid case.

“With reference to the case specifically, I don't think that the ANC has a solid case legally, politically, morally and otherwise. Yes, the ANC can make an uncontested historic claim of ownership and leadership of MK.

“But in so far as contesting the existence of the MK Party and for it contesting the General Elections of 2024, there is no firm political ground there,” the stalwart emphasised.

Political analyst Andrea Duvenage told The Star that there was a strong connection between MK and the ANC historically, but he denounced the party’s claims of arguing that the name “MK” name and logo were part of its intellectual property as being far-fetched.

“I am not that sure if the court will decide on that basis, it may end up in a very technical decision about what is intellectual property and what is your rights with regard to intellectual property.

“If you look at the groupings that are part of MK and individuals were also part of the struggle with their own rights,” Duvenage said.

He said the MK would at the end of the day be given a right to contest the upcoming general elections.