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MK party founder says Jacob Zuma was appointed party leader fraudulently

Written by on June 4, 2024

Lawyers for uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party founder Jabulani Khumalo, who has since been expelled from the organisation, alleged on Monday that a forged letter had been sent to the South African Electoral Commission (IEC) claiming Jacob Zuma was its leader.

The electoral court sitting in the Johannesburg high court heard the matter after Khumalo filed an urgent application to be reinstated as the MK party leader.

According to court papers filed by Khumalo’s legal team, he sent a letter to the IEC on 9 April communicating that Zuma’s face should appear next to the MK slot on the ballot paper and that the former president was the party’s presidential candidate for the 2024 general elections held last Wednesday.

The papers then go on to say that Zuma’s daughter Duduzile Zuma-Sambudla sent another letter to the IEC on the same day after “forging Mr Khumalo’s signature and the MKP letterhead”.

“The communication was different from what the applicant [Khumalo] as the leader of the party communicated in which Ms Zuma-Sambudla records that Mr Zuma be recorded as the party leader of the MKP,” the papers say.

In court on Monday, advocate Mfesane Ka-Siboto, representing Khumalo, said the signatures as well as the letterhead and footer were different from the first letter that Khumalo submitted to the IEC. He further argued that the IEC acted unlawfully when it appointed Zuma as party leader, and that it should revoke its decision. 

“We submit that the IEC acted unlawful when it removed the applicant as a party leader and recorded Mr Zuma as MKP leader without having been summoned to do so by Mr Jabulani Khumalo as the registered party leader of MKP as required by the regulation,” he said.

Advocate Mitchell De Beer for the IEC said the commission did not have the power to replace or remove any political leaders. 

Legal representatives for Zuma said if the applicant was claiming fraud, then the case should be a criminal matter and they should not waste the time of the electoral court.

Advocate Philisiwe May also said the urgency of the matter had passed, given that the elections were over.

May told the presiding judges Lebogang Modiba, Leicester Adams and acting judge Seena Yacoob that the issue should be suspended. 

Another lawyer for Zuma, advocate Dali Mpofu, weighed in that the court could not ask the IEC to reinstate Khumalo as the MK party’s head.

Judgement in the matter was reserved.

In last Wednesday’s elections, the MK party came out with 14.58% of the vote, surging to third position after the ANC and the Democratic Alliance and relegating the Economic Freedom Fighters to fourth place. 

The newcomers were largely instrumental in the ANC’s loss of the outright national majority it has enjoyed since the first democratic elections in 1994, with its support plunging to 40.18% from 57.5% at the previous general vote in 2019.

Zuma insists that he is still a member of the ANC, despite refusing to vote for the liberation party under the leadership of President Cyril Ramaphosa

The post MK party founder says Jacob Zuma was appointed party leader fraudulently appeared first on The Namibian.

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