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Political analysis: ANC’s bid to deregister MK Party

Sameera Casmod | sameerac@radioislam.co.za
27 March 2024 | 14:00 SAST
2-minute read

The party led by former President Jacob Zuma, uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK), won the first round in the electoral court when the Africa National Congress’  (ANC) application to have the party deregistered was dismissed in the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.

The dismissal stems from the ANC’s failure to institute court proceedings within the prescribed three days of the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) decision to approve the MK party’s registration late last year.

Political analyst Professor Amanda Gouws told Radio Islam International that the ANC’s failure to meet the deadline underscores internal disorganisation within the party.

Additionally, the ANC’s attempt to discredit the MK party’s legitimacy through legal means is a tactic to raise concerns about potential electoral violence and discredit the IEC, which could undermine the integrity of the upcoming elections.

“The ANC is now using this issue around MK to make the case that there will be electoral violence, and that, of course, leads to a situation where the IEC gets discredited, and that is not good for the election, because if you start to discredit the institution that needs to run the election, then any result of an election can be contested after the fact,” Professor Gouws says.

The emergence of the MK party, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal, poses a formidable challenge to the ANC’s traditional stronghold, especially in rural areas where the party relies heavily on support. With the MK party projected to garner around 13% of the vote in KwaZulu-Natal, the ANC faces the risk of losing significant electoral ground.

Internal divisions within the ANC, coupled with allegations of corruption against figures like the parliamentary speaker, further exacerbate the challenges faced by the party in the run-up to the elections.

“I think the ANC is very worried, and they keep having all kinds of problems. We now have a problem with the speaker, who is actually accused of corruption. And so, but there’s not enough time now to the election to launch another type of court challenge,” Professor Gouws notes.

While the MK party’s influence may be more pronounced in KwaZulu-Natal, its impact in other provinces remains a subject of debate. Professor Gouws emphasised the potential influence of ethnic nationalism mobilised by Jacob Zuma and his supporters, particularly among Zulu communities nationwide.

However, questions remain about the MK party’s long-term viability and its ability to mobilise support among younger voters.

Professor House notes that Jacob Zuma’s focus on traditional leaders may detract from efforts to engage with younger demographics.

Court proceedings for a separate case brought by the ANC against the MK Party about its name and logo are currently underway.

Listen to the full interview on Sabaahul Muslim with Moulana Junaid Kharsany here.

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