Avatar photo

By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

‘Rise of MK party phenomenal, but its personality politics’ – Vadi

According to a poll, conducted on behalf of The Brenthurst Foundation, the MK party is now the third largest party with 13% in the polls

With the national and provincial elections looming, former Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport Dr Ismail Vadi said while the rise of the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party has been “quite phenomenal” it is a result of “personality politics.”

Vadi was speaking at the Defend our Democracy civil society summit on approaches to coalition governance in the context of the 2024 elections on Saturday.

LIVE interactive map, latest news, multimedia and more!

View Map

The meteoric rise of the MK party has seen the party making significant gains in the run-up to the 2024 polls.

According to a poll, conducted on behalf of The Brenthurst Foundation, the MK party is now the third largest party with 13% in the polls behind the African National Congress (ANC) at 39% and the Democratic Alliance (DA) at 27%.

Personality politics

Vadi said about ten percent of the ANC’s support and four percent the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) support in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) is likely to go the MK party.

“Maybe a marginal percentage of IFP votes in KZN might even go to MK in that particular province. So, it does show that the EFF is coming down. But the rise of MK, really from December last year to now which is about five months is quite phenomenal.

“It’s the strength of a personality really, its personality politics, because if you really ask, what’s the policy platform of MK? You can’t work it out. I am not even sure if they had a manifesto launch. But for a party to swing almost 13% nationally, it does say something about the personality or some of the people who are involved in that,” Vadi said.

ALSO READ: MK party calls for immediate resignation of IEC Commissioner Janet Love

Post elections

Vadi also stressed that research showed the country was moving towards a very unstable period in the next decade.

“A critical factor to navigate that is good leadership…As a civil society, we need to ensure that the government that emerges from this election is the most effective.”

Vadi said while a formation of a coalition between the ANC and DA may be in the best interest of the country as long as it is based on “key principals,” the governing party has no plans to join a coalition but rather to win the elections outright.

Vadi added that there is also an issue around political instability and violence for the next two to three  months  and it is important for civil society to monitor this situation.

“Due to these elections being highly contested, the outcomes may be disputed- campaigns like Election Watch are necessary to ensure free and fair elections,” Vadi said.

ALSO READ: Electoral Court rules in favour of Zuma and MK party ahead of 29 May polls