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2024 SA Elections heat up: ConCourt bars Jacob Zuma from Parliament, MK Party unfazed

Azra Hoosen |
22 May 2024 | 14:00 CAT
3 min read

With the 2024 Election Day merely day’s away, political parties are intensifying their efforts to sway undecided voters and rally their bases. A significant development this week is the Constitutional Court’s ruling barring former President Jacob Zuma from contesting a parliamentary seat. Despite this, the MK party remains unfazed, asserting that Zuma will still wield influence behind the scenes.

With ambitions for a two-thirds majority to facilitate constitutional amendments, the party argues that the court’s decision infringes on voters’ rights. Despite potential representation in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature and National Assembly, concerns are raised over the party’s agenda to undermine constitutional democracy.

In an interview with Radio Islam, North West Professor Andre Duvenhage opines that Jacob Zuma’s intention is not to become a member of parliament but rather to avoid imprisonment.

“Zuma did not resign from the ANC. However, he is part of the MK party. Basically, he is using political power to force the ANC into a negotiating position. If you look at the eNCA survey, it is interesting that the MK party is the second biggest nationally and the biggest in KZN and the ANC came fourth. This is indicating the power at the grassroots level. Without any doubt he has a number of trump cards,” he said.

Duvenhage highlights politics revolves around power dynamics, and Jacob Zuma has demonstrated his adeptness at playing the political game, as evidenced by the events of the 2021 political unrest when he avoided remaining in jail. Given his track record, it is unlikely that he will concede defeat at this juncture.

According to Duvenhage, if the eNCA stats survey is accurate, coalition politics may come into play in the DA-ruled Western Cape.

“The DA probably has the best chance of creating a coalition, but it will be very difficult; the 3rd biggest party is the EFF, and it is very problematic for a DA-ruled government to work with groups like the EFF and maybe even the Patriotic Alliance. We are basically talking about 3 provinces in terms of coalitions: Western Cape, Gauteng and Kwa-Zulu Natal. It is difficult to predict the political landscape and how coalitions will be formed,” he said.

He emphasised that the surveys may not accurately predict the outcome of the voting day.

“The ANC in the past was very strong because they had regime support and the taxi industry behind them. But this time, things are different. I am not sure they are in a position to deliver on their promises. The EFF is a popular party but does not have the structures to deliver on Election Day. On the other side, the DA has very strong structures, and so does the Freedom Front Plus,” he said.

Duvenhage highlighted one major factor in determining voter outcomes in South Africa, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and Gauteng, is the potential for conflict or stability leading up to the elections.

“After the establishment of the MK party, the EFF support dropped a lot. What will happen to the MK party and Zuma, and what may we see in the future? Is he going to play a role or use political power to express what he wants?” he asked.

Duvenhage believes the system appears to be unfairly favouring political parties over individual candidates, as they are required to meet higher targets compared to parties. Additionally, individual candidates are now competing for seats across an entire province, with only half of the National Assembly seats available to them.

LISTEN to the full interview with Ml Junaid Kharsany and North West Professor Andre Duvenhage, here. 


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