ANC suspends big headed Jacob Zuma over rival MK party

South Africa’s ruling party suspended former President Jacob Zuma on Monday after he gave his backing to a new political party for this year’s national elections.

CAPE TOWN, South Africa — The African National Congress (ANC), South Africa’s ruling party, announced on Monday the suspension of former President Jacob Zuma following his endorsement of the newly formed MK Party for the upcoming national elections.

The latest decision underscores the deepening rift between Zuma and his successor, current President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Zuma, who led the ANC from 2007 to 2017 and served as the president of South Africa from 2009 to 2018, publicly declared his support for the MK Party at a press conference in December.

He cited dissatisfaction with Ramaphosa‘s leadership as the reason for his departure from the ANC.

Zuma also expressed his intention to retain his ANC membership despite backing the rival party.

The name “MK Party” has added fuel to the political fire as it is an abbreviation for uMkhonto weSizwe, the ANC’s defunct military wing formed by Nelson Mandela in 1961 during the struggle against apartheid.

The ANC deemed Zuma’s campaigning against the party “irreconcilable” with its constitution, stating that individuals conflicting with the party’s values will find themselves outside the ANC.

President Ramaphosa, who assumed office with a pledge to combat corruption within the ANC, succeeded Zuma after the latter was compelled to step down in 2018 amid corruption allegations.

President of the African National Congress (ANC) Cyril Ramaphosa during presentation to party delegates.
FILE: President of the African National Congress (ANC) Cyril Ramaphosa during presentation to party delegates in Johannesburg on 20th December 2022.

Zuma is currently facing trial on multiple charges related to a decades-old arms deal with French arms company Thales.

Despite the legal challenges, Zuma maintains a base of support in some parts of South Africa.

In 2021, over 300 people died in riots sparked by Zuma’s imprisonment for contempt of court when he refused to testify at a corruption inquiry during his presidency.

The unrest marked the most significant public upheaval in the country since the end of apartheid in 1994.

As South Africa approaches a crucial election year, the ANC faces growing challenges, including rising levels of poverty and unemployment.

Corruption allegations have tarnished the party’s image, and polls indicate a potential drop below 50% of the national vote for the first time.

Such an outcome would necessitate coalition-building to maintain Ramaphosa’s presidency.

The ANC, once led by Nobel laureate Nelson Mandela, has been the dominant political force in South Africa since the end of apartheid, but its popularity has waned in recent years amid accusations of corruption and unfulfilled promises to uplift the lives of millions of impoverished citizens.

RosGwen24 News
RosGwen24 News
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