Jacob Zuma, the former South African president who was ousted due to corruption allegations, has announced that he will not support the ruling African National Congress party (ANC) in the 2024 national elections. At 81, Zuma has voiced criticism against the current president and ANC leader, Cyril Ramaphosa, and expressed concern over the ANC’s rapidly declining support. The ANC, which has been instrumental in the struggle against apartheid for decades, is facing a crisis of confidence. Zuma has declared his intention to vote for a small radical leftwing party and has categorically refused to campaign for the ANC, stating, “It would be a betrayal to campaign for the ANC of Ramaphosa.”
Jacob Zuma Condemnation of ANC’s Practices and Predictions for the Election
Zuma has condemned what he perceives as the demise of democratically elected structures within the ANC, the role of money in influencing votes, and the suspected fraudulent manipulation of ANC conference decisions. He has predicted that the ANC will lose the national election for the first time since 1994, marking a significant shift in South Africa’s political landscape.
Zuma’s Support for Umkhonto we Sizwe and His Controversial Presidency
Zuma has expressed his intention to vote for the small Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) party, which was registered this year and is named after the old armed wing of the ANC. Zuma, who served as president from 2009 to 2018, was forced to step down due to corruption allegations. Despite the controversy surrounding his presidency, Zuma has managed to retain significant influence within the party. His imprisonment in June 2021, after refusing to testify before a panel investigating financial corruption and cronyism during his presidency, sparked protests, riots, and looting that resulted in the deaths of more than 350 people, marking the country’s worst violence since the end of apartheid. However, he was released on medical parole just two months into his term.
The ANC’s Electoral Challenges and Legal Dispute Over Party Name
The ANC is expected to face stiff competition in the elections from the Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters. However, smaller parties and independent candidates could play a crucial role in coalition negotiations. The ANC has indicated that it will legally challenge the use of the name Umkhonto we Sizwe, claiming that the name belongs to the party.