"ANC Suspends Ex-President Jacob Zuma Following Rival Party Launch in South Africa"

South Africa’s Former President Jacob Zuma Suspended from ANC for Launching Rival Party

South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), has suspended former President Jacob Zuma after he refused to vote for the party and launched a competing organization. Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula stated that individuals like Zuma, whose actions conflict with the party’s values, will be excluded from the ANC.

Zuma’s nine-year presidency (2009-2018) was marred by scandal, including allegations of corruption and his implication in a state capture inquiry. He was also jailed in 2021 for contempt of court related to the inquiry and faces corruption charges from a 1999 arms deal, which he denies.

Despite these controversies, the ANC had tolerated Zuma until the formation of his new party, uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK), which shares a name with the ANC’s former armed wing. The ANC accused Zuma of using military symbolism for opportunistic purposes and undermining the ANC’s support base.

Current President Cyril Ramaphosa, who succeeded Zuma in 2018, has pledged to reform the government and leads the ANC into the upcoming general election. Zuma has publicly criticized Ramaphosa and launched personal attacks against him.

Zuma’s support remains strong among some South Africans, as evidenced by protests following his imprisonment and a significant approval rating in recent polls. However, it remains uncertain how much this support will translate into votes for his new party in the upcoming election.

The ANC, rooted in the anti-apartheid struggle, has been in power since 1994, but this year’s election is expected to be highly competitive, with the emergence of new political dynamics. Zuma, a longtime ANC member, rose through the party’s ranks from a young age, ultimately becoming president.

Piers Potter


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