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The ASRI Report

Sameera Casmod |
12 April 2024 | 12:07 SAST
2-minute read

The Electoral Court on Tuesday affirmed the legitimacy of the MK party as a contestant, despite challenges from the ANC, and overturned the removal of Jacob Zuma from electoral lists.

However, research director at the Auwal Socioeconomic Research Institute, Angelo Fick, cautions against equating legal victories with electoral success, emphasising the distinct judgments made by courts and voters.

“It is important for all observers, including all South Africans, to distinguish between a party’s ability to win arguments in a court of law on the interpretation of the law, and their ability to appeal to millions of voters to vote for them,” Fick notes.

The internal dynamics of the MK party reflect broader discontent within the African National Congress (ANC), with disaffected members seeking a platform outside the ruling party. This trend is particularly pronounced in KwaZulu-Natal, where historical grievances have fuelled shifts in political allegiances.

While the MK party’s rise poses challenges for the ANC, the Democratic Alliance (DA) faces its own set of obstacles in the Western Cape. Despite its stronghold in the region, the DA’s recent campaign rhetoric has stirred controversy, raising questions about its confidence and approach to governance.

“Mr Steenhuisen’s remarks about newer and smaller parties coming for the Western Cape and warning voters that these people have nefarious intentions by implication is, I think, an indication of just how insecure the DA itself must be feeling in the Western Cape,” Fick says.

The DA’s handling of corruption allegations and spatial planning issues indicates illiberal conduct. Internal divisions within the party have fuelled insecurity among its leadership, prompting strategic shifts in campaign messaging.

“To sketch the idea, and this harks back to precisely those ideas of “swart gevaar”, that the Western Cape is somehow the home for some people and not for others, and that migration across South Africa is somehow illegitimate politics, is, I think, to hark back to colonial and apartheid ideas of influx control,” Fick says.

The political landscape continues to evolve as South Africa approaches the elections on May 29th. The outcomes of these elections will not only shape the future of the country but also provide insight into the evolving dynamics of its political parties.

In the words of Angelo Fick, “the 29th of May will deliver answers to many of our questions about what is going on inside these parties and how they are or aren’t able to appeal to ordinary South Africans.”

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



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