MK Party Announces Former President Jacob Zuma as Presidential Candidate

March 14, 2024
South African ex President Jacob Zuma | Report Focus News
South African ex President Jacob Zuma

In a bold political move, the MK party has officially named 81-year-old former president Jacob Zuma as its presidential candidate for the forthcoming national and provincial elections. The announcement has sparked a wave of discussions and debates, although the party’s youth leader, Bonginkosi Khanyile, made it clear that the MK party is not open to engaging in any dialogue regarding this decision.

Jacob Zuma, whose presidency was marked by significant controversies, has expressed his ambitions to return to the presidential office with a desire to “fix things.” However, his aspirations face a constitutional hurdle that prevents him from serving another term. Despite this, the MK party has shown unwavering resistance to such legal obstacles, with interim spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndlela stating in February, “if the people want Jacob Zuma on the ballot, that’s what will happen. Zuma will be on the ballot and will lead the country.”

The announcement has not been without its threats and warnings. Visvin Reddy, the MK party leader in KwaZulu-Natal, cautioned that the exclusion of the party from the ballot papers could lead to civil unrest and potentially disrupt the electoral process. Additionally, a pastor, speaking on behalf of some religious leaders in the province, issued a stark warning to the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC), suggesting that failure to secure a two-thirds majority for the party could result in anarchy. These remarks were made in the presence of Zuma, amplifying their significance.

Amid these tensions, President Cyril Ramaphosa issued a warning last week, stating that those threatening instability over the election outcomes would face arrest, highlighting the government’s stance on maintaining order and security.

The selection of Zuma as the presidential candidate was hinted at last week when the MK party’s candidate list for the IEC was leaked, revealing Zuma’s top position according to the party’s hierarchy. This development comes after Zuma was suspended by the ANC for his involvement with the MK party, with the ANC deferring any decisions regarding his future until after the elections.

Zuma, who served two terms as president, has been a contentious figure in South African politics. In 2021, he was granted medical parole due to health concerns, which also led to his absence from several court appearances.

As the election approaches, the MK party’s bold decision to nominate Jacob Zuma as its presidential candidate has undeniably stirred the political landscape, setting the stage for an election season filled with anticipation and uncertainty.