Former president of South Africa Jacob Zuma has announced that he will neither be campaigning nor voting for the ANC in 2024. Instead, he will be voting for the newly-registered Umkhonto Wesizwe (MK) Party.
Zuma made this announcement in a press conference held at the YMCA Hall in Orlando East, Soweto on Saturday, 16 December 2023.
In a statement that was read on his behalf by his daughter Duduzile Zuma-Sambudla, who was seated next to him, Zuma labeled the current ANC as the “ANC of Ramaphosa” and denounced it as a “proxy for white monopoly capital”.
After listing his concerns about the current leadership of the ruling party, Zuma said, “I cannot, and will not campaign for the ANC of Ramaphosa. My conscience will not allow me to lie to the people of South Africa and to pretend that the ANC of Ramaphosa is the ANC of Luthuli, Tambo and Mandela. It is not the ANC that I joined and went to jail for. In this regard, I fully agree with other former leaders like Thabo Mbeki and others, that it would be a betrayal to campaign for the ANC of Ramaphosa.
“However, I also believe that it is not enough to withdraw from the ANC campaign, which will lead our people to more misery, poverty, racism, unemployment, deepening load shedding and a government led by sellouts and apartheid collaborators. It is also our duty to guide our people on what to do in order to save our revolution from its enemies and to achieve the society envisaged in the Freedom Charter.
“I therefore wish to announce that in 2024, I will vote for the Umkhonto Wesizwe (MK) Party. It has already been registered with the IEC with my knowledge and blessings, in response to various pleas expressed to me by some religious leaders, traditional leaders, former combatants and other leaders in society.
“I call on all South Africans to join me in taking the important step and to vote for the MK Party and any other progressive party that seeks total liberation and the return of our land to its rightful owners, the African people.
“The task ahead requires young and older leaders alike to pull in the same direction. No single organisation can pull us out of the present crisis. We require the same spirit of unity which saw us defeating the monster of apartheid.”
Zuma’s announcement, although downplayed by some, has been described by others as a major blow to the ANC, particularly in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, where the former president has a huge following.
Interestingly, Zuma said he remains a loyal member of the ANC, claiming that his decision not to vote for the party next year was part of rescuing it. However, following his denouncement of the party in his announcement, there are speculations that he may face expulsion. Whether this will be the case remains to be seen.