South Africa

Zuma’s party one step closer to contesting election

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress lost a bid to have the party endorsed by its former leader, Jacob Zuma, removed from the ballot before elections in May.

The Electoral Court dismissed the application in a judgment handed down on Tuesday.

The ANC had argued that the uMkhonto weSizwe Party illegally used a logo similar to one used by the ANC’s military wing and should, therefore, be deregistered.

“There is nothing unlawful about the registration” of the MKP, Judge Leicester Adams said in the ruling in Johannesburg. “The application is dismissed with no order as to costs,” fellow Judge Lebogang Modiba said.

The MKP’s participation in the election risks further eroding support for the ANC, which may lose its national majority for the first time since the party came to power at the end of apartheid 30 years ago.

Launched in September 2023, the MKP gained national attention in December when Zuma publicly endorsed the party and said he wouldn’t vote for the ANC.

MKP leaders have threatened civil unrest should the party be excluded from the election.

That warning raised fears of a repeat of the violence that erupted in July 2021, when more than 350 people died after Zuma was arrested for contempt of court.

The ANC is scheduled to hold a media briefing later on Monday afternoon to respond to the Electoral Court’s decision.


Top JSE indices