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Jacob Zuma’s Party to Join Opposition Allian
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South Africa’s former President, Jacob Zuma, announced that his political party, uMkhonto weSizwe (MK), will join the opposition alliance in parliament. The party plans to coordinate resistance against the governing coalition led by the African National Congress (ANC). Despite their decision, MK maintains that last month’s elections were rigged and has called for the results to be annulled.

In a speech read by MK spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela, Mr. Zuma declared that the ANC is no longer part of the solution. He criticized the new coalition as a “white-led unholy alliance between the DA and the ANC of Ramaphosa,” highlighting the ANC’s loss of its outright majority for the first time since the end of apartheid. Over the weekend, the ANC entered a power-sharing agreement with the Democratic Alliance (DA), joined by three smaller parties in what the ANC calls a national unity government.

On Monday, the ANC announced that the Good party, led by Minister of Tourism Patricia de Lille, would join the coalition. Good draws significant support from the coloured community in the Western Cape.

While Cyril Ramaphosa was re-elected for a second term as president, the government formation is still pending. The power-sharing deal between the ANC and the DA, once considered unimaginable, marks a significant shift in South African politics. The DA, originating from a union including remnants of the apartheid-era ruling National Party, advocates free-market economics, contrasting with the ANC’s left-wing traditions.

Mr. Zuma confirmed that MK has lodged a court case to invalidate the election results and called for a new vote. He urged his supporters to “submit or fight” through peaceful means, emphasizing the party’s resolve to reclaim the country from what he called “enemies of progress.”

There are concerns that Mr. Zuma’s stance could incite violence, reminiscent of the deadly riots in July 2021 following his imprisonment for refusing to testify in a corruption inquiry. Police reinforcements have been dispatched to his home province, KwaZulu-Natal.

At 82, Mr. Zuma’s party, which surprisingly became the country’s third-largest, winning 12% of the vote and securing 58 seats in parliament, plans to join the official opposition. The Progressive Caucus, a coalition of small parties including the radical Economic Freedom Fighters and the center-left United Democratic Movement, will also include MK.

Mr. Zuma, an ANC veteran, fell out with the party after being forced to resign as president in 2018 due to corruption scandals, charges he has consistently denied.

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Piers Potter

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