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Faith Nyasuguta

South Africa’s uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) party will join a coalition of smaller opposition parties in parliament to challenge the African National Congress (ANC) and Democratic Alliance (DA)-led coalition government. This coalition marks a significant shift after 30 years of ANC dominance.

The ANC and its main rival, the white-led, pro-business DA, announced their coalition on Friday, naming it a “government of national unity.” 

This alliance comes in response to the surprising results of the May 29 election, where the ANC lost its majority. The MK party, founded by former President Jacob Zuma, secured a strong third place with 14.6% of the vote, translating into 58 seats in the 400-seat National Assembly.

Despite their electoral success, MK lawmakers boycotted the first sitting of the National Assembly, citing allegations of vote-rigging. However, the country’s top court dismissed their complaint as baseless. 

Speaking on behalf of Zuma, spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela announced that the MK party would join the “Progressive Caucus,” an alliance including the Marxist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the center-left United Democratic Movement (UDM). This coalition controls nearly 30% of the National Assembly seats.

/Arise News/

“This united effort is necessary because the 2024 election has resulted in the consolidation of right-wing and reactionary forces who oppose economic freedom, radical economic transformation, racial equality, and land repossession,” Ndhlela said. 

He added that the MK party would take up its seats in the National Assembly following legal advice and would continue to pursue their allegations of electoral fraud in parliament and the courts.

The Independent Electoral Commission has maintained that the election was free and fair. However, Zuma criticized the unity government, which includes the socially conservative Inkatha Freedom Party and the right-wing Patriotic Alliance, labeling it a “white-led unholy alliance.”

Zuma has consistently refused to negotiate while Cyril Ramaphosa leads the ANC, a stance rooted in his animosity toward the man who replaced him as president. Ramaphosa was reelected for a second term by lawmakers on Friday, thanks to a late coalition deal. The 71-year-old secured his second term with the support of DA lawmakers and smaller parties.

Jacob Zuma /Arise News/

Addressing his party supporters, Zuma expressed dissatisfaction with the election results, stating, “The whole big group of political parties, all complaining simultaneously that we are robbed here. We want this to be looked at.” He indicated that affected parties would seek justice in international courts, alleging that the South African judiciary is not impartial.

“We are going to the international court…so that this country does not have the South African judges doing so,” he said. Zuma also called for new elections, citing irregularities at polling stations. “Let us see the votes properly. We have many stories about votes. Some burnt. You don’t even need to listen to what people have to say,” he added.

Zuma resigned as president in 2018 amid a series of corruption allegations, leaving behind a legacy that continues to influence South African politics.


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Faith Nyasuguta

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