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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

WATCH: ‘There’ll still be an MK party if Zuma disappears’ – says SG

Zuma's MK party is performing well as early election results trickle in.

South Africans who voted for the newly formed Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party did so not because of former president Jacob Zuma’s personality but because of the values of the party.

This is according to the MK party’s secretary general Sihle Ngubane.

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Zuma’s MK party is currently among the top four parties as early results trickle in from the national and provincial elections.

Watch: Sihle Ngubane on the MK party being bigger than Zuma

The African National Congress (ANC) is currently in the lead. The Democratic Alliance (DA) is in second position and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in third.

‘Mk party not about personality politics’

In KwaZulu-Natal, Zuma’s MK party was performing strongly, with a good percentage of votes as counting continues.

Ngubane said Zuma is the leader of the MK party, but the party it not about personality politics.

“People voted for values and belief that MK has tabled to them in the people’s mandate. And people have a reference of who the leaders are… It doesn’t mean that if Jacob Zuma disappears there’s no political party.”

In April, former Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport Dr Ismail Vadi during the Defend our Democracy civil society summit said while the rise of the MK party was “quite phenomenal” it was a result of “personality politics”.

ALSO READ: Zuma’s MK party ‘profoundly disappointed’ in electoral process

Vadi said about 10% of the ANC’s support and 4% the 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, it’s 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: ‘Rise of MK party phenomenal, but its personality politics’ – Vadi

Die in ANC

Zuma was forced to step down as South Africa’s president in 2018 after a string of scandals and has since fallen out with the ANC leadership.

Despite being an ANC member, Zuma announced in December that he would support the MK party for the 2024 general elections because the ANC had strayed from its core values.

Despite his leadership and support for the MK party, Zuma in an interview with Newzroom Afrika, said he was adamant that he would “die in the ANC”.


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