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By Eric Naki

Political Editor


Rumours of MK’s popularity hugely exaggerated, say experts

Expert dismisses Zuma's claims of MK party's two-thirds majority, warns of excuses for potential loss.


The uMkhonto weSizwe party’s (MK) leader, Jacob Zuma, is misleading followers with his frequent claims that the party will get a two-thirds majority in the election on Wednesday next week because that is mission impossible for a new party in South Africa, says an expert.

Instead, said University of KwaZulu-Natal politics lecturer Zakhele Ndlovu, Zuma was trying to find an excuse to complain about the rigging of the results should he not win.

ALSO READ: ‘Relax’ – MK party says Zuma ‘still the leader’ after ConCourt outcome

Ndlovu warned that MK filling up Orlando Stadium at a rally last weekend meant nothing because any of the major parties could do that easily.

MK launched its manifesto last Saturday at the 40 000 capacity Orlando Stadium, which was reportedly full to capacity.

“Zuma has been telling his supporters that MK will get a two-thirds majority,” said Ndlovu. “When have you heard of a new political party getting two-thirds of the vote?

“That last happened with former president Thabo Mbeki and I don’t think it will happen again in South Africa. Zuma is like [former US president] Donald Trump,” he said.

The party knows it won’t win. The MK leadership was deliberately inflating the party’s popularity so if it lost, it would have an excuse, he said.

MK, which was launched on 16 December, would not get more than five percent of the national vote, but that could climb to 20% in KwaZulu-Natal, Zuma’s home province.

Ndlovu said MK had managed to pull in the crowds in KZN and Gauteng because of the “Zulu factor” in those provinces.

“Like the IFP [Inkatha Freedom Party], MK is a Zulu-ethnic party. “Even the IFP can fill up Orlando,” Ndlovu said.

ALSO READ: Zuma barred from standing for election to Parliament, ConCourt rules

His views were echoed by another expert, Professor Ntsikelelo Breakfast, who is director of the Centre for Peace Security and Conflict Resolution at Nelson Mandela University. He said MK was in disarray and could not muster a two-thirds majority.

After the expulsion of party founder, Jabulani Khumalo, and others by the Zuma camp, and Zuma’s subsequent suspension by Khumalo, the party’s image was tarnished in the eyes of the electorate.

While MK started like a “house on fire” with its electoral prospects looking good, that may no longer applicable, he said.

He agreed the turnout at Orlando Stadium was impressive, but said that was unlikely to translate into votes. “Who wants to vote for a party that is busy fighting itself?

“I think the party is in disarray, it is not functioning as a coherent unit, a united force.

“Where on earth have you heard of the president being suspended by another member, who is an embodiment of the party?” Breakfast asked.

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