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By Brian Sokutu

Senior Print Journalist


MK ‘a threat to ANC’ as 10% of election vote predicted for Zuma-backed party

The uMkhonto weSizwe party is targeting a two-thirds majority.


Widely seen as a threat in disrupting ANC fortunes in the upcoming general election, its splinter uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party, which mounted a poorly attended campaign rally in Alexandra township north of Johannesburg at the weekend, is confident of getting a two-thirds majority at the polls. Thousands of MK party supporters – mostly dressed in military camouflage, black, green and gold T-shirts and caps – braved the scorching heat and patiently waited for hours for former president Jacob Zuma’s arrival at the Alexandra Stadium. Local shisanyamas made a thriving business in 12th Avenue and Reverend Sam Buti Street which border…

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Widely seen as a threat in disrupting ANC fortunes in the upcoming general election, its splinter uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party, which mounted a poorly attended campaign rally in Alexandra township north of Johannesburg at the weekend, is confident of getting a two-thirds majority at the polls.

Thousands of MK party supporters – mostly dressed in military camouflage, black, green and gold T-shirts and caps – braved the scorching heat and patiently waited for hours for former president Jacob Zuma’s arrival at the Alexandra Stadium.

Local shisanyamas made a thriving business in 12th Avenue and Reverend Sam Buti Street which border the venue.

Amid high security but an orderly environment, a cultural and festive mood gripped Alexandra, with the rally displaying all the hallmarks and trappings of an ANC rally in dress, chant and song.

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Phantsi nge ANC (Down with ANC) and Asibesabi, siyabafuna (We are not afraid) were among the many deafening chants from the roaring crowd, some dressed in traditional isiXhosa and isiZulu gear.

Songs like Asoze siphele amandla (We will never tire), yi bambeni webafana (Don’t lose it cadres) were among the struggle hymns reverberating in Alexandra.

Banners and T-shirts said it all about MK’s objectives. “Vote MK”, was seen on a black T-shirt. “Now or never” was the message on a banner with the face of Zuma.

Another one bearing the face of struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela said: “We remember. Long live the spirit of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.”

MK targeting two-thirds majority

MK party secretary-general Thanduxolo Dyodo was upbeat about the prospect of MK toppling the ANC and getting a two-thirds majority.

“In these polls, we are looking at gaining a two-thirds majority, to govern correctly. We are changing things that were done wrongly.

“We have already made inroads in Gauteng because the MK party has taken up the plight of poor people, which we regard as ours,” he said.

“We live with the people and understand the struggles of load shedding, children not getting quality education in schools, with the party having grown and established itself in Gauteng.

“We are not worried about the ANC and what it says about us. We are only worried about the people we are supposed to be serving.

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“We are taking back the counby the urge to ensure that our people do not suffer anymore.”

In line with the party’s manifesto objectives, Dyodo said MK would focus on rural development and wanted to change the lives of the rural poor by “ensuring that factories are established in those areas”.

“This will stop people flocking to Durban, Cape Town or Johannesburg to look for work.We want to prioritise rural development.

“We also want to correct things that were wrongly done in this country – people who came here illegally, trading and not paying tax, being treated with kid gloves.

“We also want to see a change in education. Not the one compelling them to find employment, but to learn technical skills and create own companies,” said Dyodo.

MK party to unseat ANC?

Independent political analyst Sandile Swana said MK remained a threat to the ANC in the polls.

“The emergence of the MK party guarantees that the ANC will fall below 50% of the vote. The ANC is going to lose Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, with the only thing now left being the kind of coalition the ruling party is going to enter into,” he said.

“In the unseating of the ANC from power, the MK party will certainly play a role. It is predicted to get about 10% of the vote, which is the third-or-fourth-biggest party.

READ MORE: ANC will struggle in KZN – experts

“The formation of the black left-wing national coalition is going to become the most important matter left for MK to ponder on.

“It will be about whether the EFF [Economic Freedom Fighters] and the UDM [United Democratic Movement] will allow the MK party to be a leader of such a coalition movement, which is something unlikely.

“This will present an opportunity for the likes of ATM [African Transformation Movement] and other smaller parties to occupy the position of chair,” said Swana.

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