Mkhonto weSizwe Party Makes a Mark in Mpumalanga By-Election

Mkhonto weSizwe Party Makes a Mark in Mpumalanga By-Election

In a notable political development in Mpumalanga, the uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP), endorsed by former President Jacob Zuma, secured a significant second place in its inaugural by-election. This event marked a remarkable performance, surpassing both the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

The Electoral Contest in Govan Mbeki

The by-election unfolded within Ward 4 of the Govan Mbeki Municipality, situated in the Gert Sibande district, on a recent Wednesday. This election was necessitated by the tragic demise of ANC councillor Simphiwe Sindelo and another individual, who were fatally shot in December 2023.

Ward 4, known for its modest voter registration of 2,558 across two voting districts, witnessed the African National Congress (ANC) retaining its position with 1,086 votes, translating to 50.84% of the total votes. The MKP emerged as a formidable contender, amassing 598 votes or 28%, a significant stride ahead of the EFF’s 194 votes (9.08%) and the IFP’s 27 votes (1.2%).

Additionally, the Singukukhanya Kwezwe Christian Party received five votes, while the Truth and Solidarity Movement did not secure any votes, indicating even its candidate, Sabelo Nkosi, refrained from voting for it.

A Rising Political Force

The MKP’s ascendance to the second position is indicative of its growing influence. Political analysts had already anticipated a robust performance from the party in KwaZulu-Natal, buoyed by its recent successes in the province’s by-elections.

In KwaZulu-Natal, the party showcased its electoral strength. In a by-election in uPhongolo’s Ward 2, a territory traditionally dominated by the IFP, the MKP garnered an impressive 687 votes out of a total of 2,446. Despite the IFP clinching the ward with 890 votes, its share significantly reduced from the previous local government elections’ 48.37% to 36.39%.

A similar trend was observed in a Ward 8 by-election in the AbaQulusi Municipality, where the MKP secured 211 of the 1,085 votes, demonstrating its growing appeal among the electorate.

MKP: A Choice for the People

Following its performance in the Mpumalanga by-election, the MKP celebrated its achievement with a message on X (formerly Twitter), expressing its gratitude towards its supporters:

The green army has done it again and again! With no resources, no money donated but pure love for the people. A people’s movement unveiled on the 16th of December 2023, uMkhonto weSizwe sabantu has arrived and is the only choice for the people.

Electoral Dynamics and Future Projections

The Social Research Foundation (SRF) revealed a poll indicating a potential decline in ANC’s support in KwaZulu-Natal to 25%, a sharp fall from 54% in the 2019 general elections. Conversely, the MKP, which was officially launched by Zuma in Soweto in December, polled at 24%, suggesting it is significantly impacting the ANC’s voter base in the province. Furthermore, the MKP’s performance on the province-to-national ballot stood at 28%, hinting at its potential representation in the National Assembly post the 29 May election.

Table: Mpumalanga By-Election Results

Party Votes Percentage
African National Congress (ANC) 1,086 50.84%
uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) 598 28%
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) 194 9.08%
Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) 27 1.2%
Singukukhanya Kwezwe Christian Party 5 N/A
Truth and Solidarity Movement 0 0%

This electoral outcome in Mpumalanga not only underscores the evolving political landscape but also signals the MKP’s burgeoning influence, particularly in regions previously dominated by traditional political powerhouses. As the political dynamics continue to evolve, the implications for future elections and the broader political discourse in South Africa remain a subject of keen interest and observation.

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