South African singer Lira has not joined or endorsed the uMkhonto weSizwe Party

Some social media posts claim that South African singer Lira has publicly endorsed or joined the new political party uMkhonto weSizwe. She has denied the claims and says she has no affiliation with the party.

South Africa will hold national elections on May 29. In the run-up to these elections, the newly formed uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) has attracted much attention.

Several social media posts claim that South African singer Lerato Molapo, popularly known as Lira, has endorsed or become a member of the MKP.

What is the MKP?

The MKP was registered in September 2023.

In December, former South African president Jacob Zuma publicly endorsed the MKP. The move led to his suspension from his lifelong party, the ANC, in January. Zuma led the ANC from 2007 to 2017, and served as the country’s president from 2009 until his resignation in 2018.

The new party is named after uMkhonto weSizwe (MK), the armed wing of the ANC in its struggle against apartheid. It means ‘spear of the nation’ in isiZulu.

The ANC has challenged the MKP’s use of this name, as well as other imagery associated with the historic MK.

But has the new party received the backing of the award-winning singer? We checked.

Widely shared video not of Lira

Some posts on Facebook include a video originally posted on TikTok by an account with the handle ‘@mk.youth.league’. It is not clear whether this account is officially linked to the MKP.

In the video, a woman declares that her ‘blood is green’, the MKP’s colour, and says that she ‘will vote MK’ in the upcoming election. However, the text in the video and the caption on the original TikTok post identify her as actress Londiwe Ngcamu.

Despite this, posts such as this one on Facebook and a now-deleted YouTube video used the clip to claim that Lira had joined the MKP. Although the YouTube video cannot be viewed, the title ‘LIRA join MK’ and a thumbnail of the TikTok video can still be seen in posts that have shared it.

Lira has distanced herself from the MKP. “I wish to confirm that I have no affiliation with MKP. I have not endorsed them or become an MKP member,” she said on X (formerly Twitter).

As examples of what she called ‘fake news’, the singer posted screenshots of a now-deleted tweet and the ‘LIRA join MK’ YouTube video.

This report is produced as part of the work of a South African election coalition. In the run-up to the 2024 national elections, the coalition aims to ensure that the claims made by those in charge of state resources and delivering essential services are factually accurate. As voters head to the polls, it is increasingly important that they are able to make informed decisions.

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