The MK party says Jacob Zuma ‘will be president as long as the people want him to be president’.

The uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party has dismissed suggestions that it will disrupt this year’s provincial and national elections following backlash from some government officials.

This week, MK youth league leader Bonginkosi Khanyile publicly stated that there will be no elections if his party of former president Jacob Zuma or the party were barred from contesting the polls.

ALSO READ: MK party warns of ‘anarchy and civil war’ if not allowed to contest elections

President Cyril Ramaphosa previously warned that any political party threatening violence will face arrest.

Similarly, Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni called on law enforcement agencies to apprehend those threatening violence should the elections not turn out if their favour, stressing that there won’t be another 2021 July unrest.

MK party on elections, Zuma

In an interview with The Citizen on Sunday, MK party spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela disputed allegations that the MK would spark a civil war if the party was to lose at the upcoming elections.

“We are not the problem child… whatever happens in this country will be based on the people’s view. MK party is just a catalyst to lead people into the elections,” he said.

On the other hand, Ndhlela said he believed that the membership of the MK party had grown significantly.

While he did not want to give a definite figure, the MK spokesperson said the party had certainly surpassed a million members.

“We have gotten over seven million visits to our website. But we do not want to talk about our numbers until we launch our manifesto,” he said.

READ MORE: MK ‘a threat to ANC’ as 10% of election vote predicted for Zuma-backed party

Ndhlela also noted the remarks made by Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) about the candidacy of Zuma as a presidential candidate for the MK party.

The IEC had reiterated that while the law doesn’t prevent candidates with criminal records from being nominated on party lists, they cannot stand for public office.

Zuma, who was convicted to 15 months in prison for contempt of court in July 2021 and later received a remission of sentence, is likely to be disqualified from becoming an MP.

“Jacob Zuma will be president as long as the people want him to be president,” he said.

MK party vs ANC over logo, registration

The Electoral Court, sitting in Bloemfontein on Tuesday, 19 March, will hear the application by African National Congress (ANC) which seeks to nullify the MK’s registration as a political party.

The ANC, in their court papers, has argued that the logo of the MK party bears resemblance to the emblem of the ruling party’s former military wing, uMkhonto weSizwe, which was dissolved in 1993.

The MK party’s registration received the greenlight from the IEC in September 2023, but the ANC contends that this approval was done unlawfully.

The logo and trademark dispute is a separate matter set to be heard by the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) High Court in Durban on 27 March.

RELATED: ‘Zuma is the most destructive person to ANC’, says Mbalula ahead of MK party registration case

On the litigation, Ndhlela said the ANC was clutching at straws.

“This is a frivolous case the ANC woke up from its slumber and realised that [former] president [Jacob] Zuma will be campaigning for the MK party.

“Would they have really spent so much effort trying to destabilize us and question the logo and question the trade mark when they in fact disbanded the MK,” Ndhlela said.

Ndhlela said he was confident the MK party would win the case in court.

He said it was a fact that the MK logo was not completely identical to that of the former armed wing of the ANC.

“Let’s look at the trade mark uMkhonto weSizwe is words that’s the first point the second point is that our logo the spear is below and their spear is above they are really desperate,” Ndhlela said.


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