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By Lunga Simelane

Journalist


MK has ’caused nightmares’ for ANC – analyst

ANC's failed court bid against uMkhonto weSizwe party leaves them facing defeat before May elections, analysts weigh in.


The ANC has been left with egg on its face following its failed court bid to get the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party deregistered before the 29 May elections. MK party founding member Jabulani Khumalo said the party was happy with the outcome of the case, that the ANC had lost this case and would continue to lose until the elections. ALSO READ: ‘It’s only the ANC that has a problem,’ says MK party after Electoral Court win “They have failed. The problem is the ANC does not want to accept that their time is over. We are saying again that…

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The ANC has been left with egg on its face following its failed court bid to get the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party deregistered before the 29 May elections.

MK party founding member Jabulani Khumalo said the party was happy with the outcome of the case, that the ANC had lost this case and would continue to lose until the elections.

ALSO READ: ‘It’s only the ANC that has a problem,’ says MK party after Electoral Court win

“They have failed. The problem is the ANC does not want to accept that their time is over. We are saying again that in the 29 May elections, we will remove them,” he said.

“We have defeated them in the courts and we will also defeat them in KwaZulu-Natal.” The ANC initially asked the Electoral Court to declare the MK party’s registration by the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) unlawful, arguing its application was flawed and irregular.

The party claimed IEC deputy chief electoral officer Masego Sheburi acted unlawfully when he registered the MK party.

However the Electoral Court found the IEC did, in fact, act within the prescribes of the law when registering the MK party.

Application dismissed

Electoral Court Judge Lebogang Modiba, who delivered the judgment, dismissed the ANC’s application.

He said the case lacked urgency and fell outside the court’s jurisdiction to adjudicate. Modiba said this was a unanimous decision.

She said the ANC had two opportunities to object and the party had only itself to blame for failing to interdict the registration of the MK party within the prescribed three days of the IEC’s decision.

“The impugned decision was made on 7 September, 2023; it brought the application in January 2024,” she said.

“The ANC’s explanation is irrational because it does justify the delay. It is irrelevant it became aware of the letter in January 2024.”

Independent political analyst Sanusha Naidu said the country was heading into a delicate and complex election and the outcome would have had a major impact on the political landscape and the body politic of the state.

“People should not complicate what’s already very complex,” she said.

ALSO READ: Mpofu argues ANC only went to court after Zuma announced his support for MK party

“I think it’s a judgment which is very important. It will create precedent, but it will also make other political parties stand up, take notice and say, you don’t just go for it because you feel that you can use litigation as a means to try and push out a political party because it hits so close to home.”

According to Naidu, the judgment was clear on the basis that the Electoral Court stated it did not have jurisdiction to pronounce on the deputy CEO in enabling and allowing for the MK party to register.

“I think that’s important because that also tells you, as much as the Electoral Court is there to arbitrate and adjudicate on issues around the electoral commission, they don’t want to veer into that black box,” she said.

“One of the things they said was, at such a close stage to the election, what would be the unintended consequences for MK party if they had to make that judgment in terms of not being able to say that what the deputy CEO had done was irregular.

ANC’s timelines questioned

“The second point is really the question of the process. What timelines did the ANC have to lodge their dispute? Why did they take so long? Why did they procrastinate? Why did they wait until after the deputy CEO had accepted the application, or amended the application by the MK party on 7 September?”

The court further found the ANC had failed to explain why it waited so long to initiate the legal proceedings. Naidu said this was telling of how a party like the ANC moved.

READ MORE: ‘We are not the problem child’, says MK party after backlash over election ‘threats’

“The ANC is a party which should have all of the brain staff in their party and outside in helping them to make this application and understanding that this application would have certain contradictions and loopholes,” she said.

“In any legal case, you must be able to convince a court and the justices and the judges of that court that there is irrefutable evidence or there is that beyond reasonable doubt of element.”

While MK party members celebrated outside the Johannesburg court, there was no sign of any ANC senior officials in court, nor party supporters before or after court proceedings.

Naidu said this was bizarre. “It’s curious that you go with such a big application and none of your senior members are there. Does it mean that you thought you were not going to win?

“The ANC is fighting on so many fronts. It’s firefighting itself. It looks at the MK party and knows it comes out of its own central nervous system. This party has caused nightmares for the ANC in so many ways.”

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