Cleopatra Hani, the eldest daughter of anti-apartheid firebrand Chris Hani, has dumped the ANC and joined the Jacob Zuma-backed uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) political party. Hani, 57, is the latest prominent figure to join the new kids on the block after Zuma publicly declared support for the party. Hani has been campaigning on the ground for the party in the Eastern Cape, where she hails from. Hani has been in dispute with the struggle leader's widow, Limpho, for several years over her legitimacy. She was born from Chris' relationships before marrying Limpho. ALSO READ: ‘The ANC owns uMkhonto weSizwe’ − Mavuso…
Cleopatra Hani, the eldest daughter of anti-apartheid firebrand Chris Hani, has dumped the ANC and joined the Jacob Zuma-backed uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) political party.
Hani, 57, is the latest prominent figure to join the new kids on the block after Zuma publicly declared support for the party.
Hani has been campaigning on the ground for the party in the Eastern Cape, where she hails from.
Hani has been in dispute with the struggle leader’s widow, Limpho, for several years over her legitimacy. She was born from Chris’ relationships before marrying Limpho.
ALSO READ: ‘The ANC owns uMkhonto weSizwe’ − Mavuso Msimang
Reports from impeccable sources in political circles have revealed that former tourism minister Lindiwe Sisulu worked behind the scenes for months – alongside longtime ally Zuma – in the formation of the party. Their work included trips to Russia.
Speaking to The Citizen this week, Hani said she left the ANC because she became unhappy about “everything the party had become. uMkhonto weSizwe has the right ideologies and I believe this is the party South Africa needs”.
Hani added that the establishment of the MK party was “long overdue”.
Asked if she thought her father would approve of her decision, Hani said: “I am living my own life.”
The party, which held a massive rally addressed by Zuma in Mpumalanga over the weekend, will be holding another event at Chris Hani’s birthplace of Sabalele in Cofimvaba in the Eastern Cape on 27 January.
ALSO READ: New party, same old broken promises: IFP not worried about MK threat
Hani’s birthplace to host MK party rally
Infographics flying around social media show Cleo Hani as one of the main speakers at the event to be held at Sabalele sport grounds.
Leaked audio messages suggest that over 200 former ANC members, including former councillors in the Buffalo City Metro (BCM), are working underground on expanding the party.
Former BCM council speaker, Lulama Simon-Ndzele, is one of the councillors whose name is being linked to the new party in the Eastern Cape.
Reports also suggest the party has amassed strong support in some of the province’s largest regions including Joe Gqabi, Sarah Baartman, OR Tambo and Nelson Mandela Bay.
However, senior researcher, political analyst and lecturer at Nelson Mandela University, Dr Ongama Mtimka, is not convinced the party will do well in the Eastern Cape or at other provinces in the upcoming elections, with the exception of KwaZulu-Natal.
MK party expected to get votes in KZN
“There will be some section of the electoral market that will respond positively to its message but not significantly beyond KZN. Zuma has a significant following, mostly in KZN,” Mtimka said.
ALSO READ: ‘Ex-president Zuma still a strong force’ – expert says
He said the establishment of the MK party continues the trend of the formation of splinter parties from the ANC that go on to challenge the ruling party’s majority.
“It attests to the fractured nature of the party throughout the democratic period,” Mtimka added.
Eastern Cape ANC secretary Lulama Ngcukayithobi said the party in the province backs Luthuli House in its plans to take the MK party to court for the theft of the uMkhonto weSizwe emblem, logo and its brand name.
“The decision was taken nationally because MK is an institution established by the ANC as a military wing during the apartheid years and supported it for military capabilities. Therefore it is our brand,” said Ngcukayithobi.
He also said that he was not having sleepless nights over the establishment of the party of “crooks, thieves and liars”.
“They are just a bunch of thieves. The Eastern Cape folk are not stupid. They see through this party, I am without a doubt that the voters will reject this party at the polls,” said Ngcukathobi.
The MK party acknowledged The Citizen’s questions and promised to respond. Their response will be added once received.
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