Paula Luckhoff7 May 2024 | 15:49

MK 'founder' asks IEC to remove Jacob Zuma as face of party

'This was a shot in the dark' - EWN political editor Tshidi Madia on Jabulani Khumalo's bid to unseat Zuma.

MK 'founder' asks IEC to remove Jacob Zuma as face of party

Former President Jacob Zuma addresses members of the media under the banner of new party uMkhontho We Sizwe on 16 December 2023. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/Eyewitness News

The former interim leader of the uMkhonto weSizwe Party has not received a favourable response from the Electoral Commission after asking for the removal of Jacob Zuma as the face and president of MK.

Confirming receipt of the letter from Jabulani Khumalo, the IEC reiterated its stance that 'it does not involve itself in internal affairs of political parties'.

The Commission also noted that it acts only on instruction of the registered leader of the party. 

"In the present case, Mr Jacob Zuma is the registered leader of MK Party. This has been so since 10 April 2024."
Electoral Commission of South Africa

While many people do call Khumalo the party founder, he was actually used as a decoy, comments Eyewitness News political editor Tshidi Madia.

"This was a former president Jacob Zuma project; they understood that if Zuma's name was used for registration it would have caught the eye of the ANC... so Khumalo was there because he's an unknown character. It's not his party."
"The IEC has said a few weeks ago that the leader who's registered is Zuma, because it wants a picture of the leader for the ballot. So the MK Party was well aware, Khumalo was aware, and now he suddenly tries to fight back..."
Tshidi Madia, Political Editor - Eyewitness News

Also, going to the IEC as opposed to challenging the case in a court of law, means this is a waste of time Madia says.

She suspects it's a question of the entitlement that often comes with power and politics.

"It's almost a way to stay in the media spotlight and and a way to stay relevant. I think it was a shot in the dark."
"I expected these ructions AFTER the elections... My problem with the MK Party is that everything is interim, and anchored around Jacob Zuma. I don't think they've done enough work to try and set down structures." 
Tshidi Madia, Political Editor - Eyewitness News