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Former President Zuma’s uMkhonto we Sizwe Party Aims for Parliamentary Majority in South African Elections

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In a fervent display of political ambition, former South African President Jacob Zuma expressed his new party’s, uMkhonto we Sizwe, intent to secure a parliamentary majority in the upcoming elections. Zuma, who parted ways with the ruling African National Congress (ANC), rallied supporters at the launch of the party’s election manifesto in Soweto, South Africa, on May 18, 2024.

Speaking to a crowd of thousands at the Orlando Stadium, Zuma emphasized the party’s goal of achieving an outright victory to prevent opposition resistance and enable smooth implementation of reforms without hindrances. Despite polls suggesting a modest projected vote share of 8.4% for uMkhonto we Sizwe in an Ipsos survey, Zuma remained steadfast in aiming for a significant 66% mandate.

Zuma’s pledges, delivered in Zulu, included commitments to offer free education for disadvantaged children, generate employment opportunities, and combat corruption within the government. The emergence of uMkhonto we Sizwe as a formidable political force poses a challenge to the ANC, particularly in Zuma’s stronghold of KwaZulu Natal.

The party has garnered support beyond its home province, with supporters like Girlsy Six from Mpumalanga province expressing hope for transformative change through uMkhonto we Sizwe. Six emphasized the aspirations for job creation, land reform, and the establishment of a people’s bank as key pillars of the party’s appeal to the electorate.

Amidst the political fervor, Zuma criticized the lack of dedication among current elected officials towards improving citizens’ livelihoods, stating that the elderly should be enjoying retirement instead of battling corruption within the government. Meanwhile, the legal battle over Zuma’s eligibility to run for parliament continues, following a decision by the electoral commission to disqualify him based on a prior 15-month jail sentence for non-compliance with a corruption inquiry.

As the election approaches, South African citizens abroad have already begun casting their votes, underscoring the significance of the upcoming polls in shaping the country’s political landscape. The judiciary’s pending ruling on Zuma’s parliamentary candidacy adds a layer of complexity to the electoral dynamics as the nation braces for a potentially transformative electoral outcome.

Rachel Adams

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