No to blocking MK Party in KZN

UMkhonto weSizwe Party (MK Party) leader Jacob Zuma. | TIMOTHY BERNARD Independent Newspapers.

UMkhonto weSizwe Party (MK Party) leader Jacob Zuma. | TIMOTHY BERNARD Independent Newspapers.

Published Jun 4, 2024


Durban — Despite the uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) being the majority party in KwaZulu-Natal, it faces another political hurdle as small parties are ganging up against it.

The new kid on the block bagged more than 1.5 million votes in KZN, resulting in 37 seats in the 80-seat Provincial Legislature in Pietermaritzburg.

The ANC, which has governed the province since 2004, dropped to 17% of the vote and became the third-largest party with 44 seats after its dismal showing.

However, political analyst Thobani Zikalala, said excluding MKP is a travesty of justice.

“We can’t have a majority party (MKP) being excluded in the provincial government. That’s just a travesty of justice.”

Zikalala said the MKP should be a leading party because 45% of the KZN people voted for it.

“Really, the MKP should be the anchor of the provincial government because many voters voted for it,” said Zikalala.

It flies against the Constitution and tenets of democracy for small parties to gang up against a majority, Zikalala added.

The strongest revolt against the MKP-led coalition came from the DA and the ANC.

These two political rivals of the MKP have vowed to form a provincial government that will exclude the MKP.

Collectively, the opposition parties in KZN would have 43 seats if they decided to team up against the MKP.

MKP spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela said the party will fight the results to the bitter end.

“We can’t allow such a thing to happen. This is our democracy. We need to guard against it and protect it at all costs.”

He added: “We will fight this. These elections were not free and fair. We’ll fight in the next coming days.”

Lucky Hadebe, the secretary-general of the Progressive Civic Congress (PCC), also weighed in.

“We will fight against this abuse of democracy. If need be, we’ll embark on a massive strike,” said Hadebe.

The PCC is aligned with the MKP. The recently-formed MKP, led by former president Jacob Zuma, dashed all the ANC’s hopes of retaining the KZN province, after scoring 45% in last week’s election.

The ANC managed just 17%, a spectacular drop from the 54% the party managed in 2019, and was displaced by MKP as the majority party in KZN.

At stake is the control of the provincial budget of R150 billion.

With the end beckoning, the 11 members of the provincial cabinet led by outgoing Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube, are now clearing their cabinets.

This was the first time the ANC was toppled in KZN since 2004 after it won the province from the IFP.

The ANC’s 44 seats it used to have in the 80-seater provincial legislature, are set to drop to 14, leading to many ANC leaders who were Members of the Provincial Legislature (MPLs) and MECs losing their jobs and their boundless perks.

This includes, among others, flights, bodyguards, hotel stays, luxurious vehicles and patronage networks.

IFP provincial chairperson Thami Ntuli was coy when asked about the coalition talks.

“We have a team handling the coalition talks. I can’t comment on that at the moment. But let’s wait and see what happens.”

He was unhappy about his party’s performance in the elections, Ntuli said.

“We poured a lot of resources into the campaign. But we will see what happens in the next coming days,” said Ntuli.

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