MK Party Joins Opposition Alliance in Parliament

MK Party Joins Opposition Alliance in Parliament

South Africa’s former President, Jacob Zuma, announced that his political party, uMkhonto weSizwe (MK), will align with the opposition alliance in parliament. This move is aimed at coordinating resistance against the governing coalition led by the African National Congress (ANC).

Despite the decision to join the opposition, MK maintains that last month’s elections were rigged and demands that the results be annulled.

On Sunday, MK spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela read a speech on behalf of Mr. Zuma. He stated that the ANC is no longer part of the solution for South Africa. Mr. Zuma asserted that there is no government of national unity in the country, describing the current partnership as a

“white-led unholy alliance between the DA and the ANC of Ramaphosa.”

For the first time since the end of apartheid, the ANC lost its outright majority. Over the weekend, it established a power-sharing agreement with the Democratic Alliance (DA). Three smaller parties have joined what the ANC describes as a national unity government. On Monday, the ANC announced on X that the Good party, led by current Minister of Tourism Patricia de Lille, would also be part of the coalition. Good holds significant influence in the Western Cape, drawing support primarily from the coloured community, as mixed-race people are referred to in South Africa.

Although a majority of MPs re-elected ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa for a second term as president on Friday, the formation of a new government is still pending. The DA and the ANC, traditionally adversaries, entering a power-sharing deal was once unimaginable to many South Africans. The DA, which emerged from a coalition of groups including remnants of the apartheid-era ruling National Party, champions free-market economics, contrasting with the ANC’s left-wing roots.

Mr. Zuma confirmed that MK has filed a court case to have the election results invalidated and to call for a new vote. He urged his supporters to “submit or fight” back peacefully. He stated,

“We will fight to win back our country from the enemies of progress.”

There are concerns that Mr. Zuma’s stance could incite violence among his followers, reminiscent of the deadly riots in July 2021 when he was imprisoned for refusing to testify at a public inquiry into corruption during his presidency. Police reinforcements have been dispatched to his home province, KwaZulu-Natal.

At 82, Mr. Zuma announced that his party would soon take their seats in parliament after boycotting Friday’s first sitting. MK performed unexpectedly well in the elections, emerging as the third-largest party by securing 12% of the vote and 58 parliamentary seats. Mr. Zuma stated that MK would join the official opposition, aligning with a group of smaller parties that call themselves the Progressive Caucus. This caucus, which collectively holds almost a third of the seats, includes the radical Economic Freedom Fighters and the centre-left United Democratic Movement.

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