Zuma’s MK Party Challenges Outcome Of Election In Court Amid Parliament Meeting

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Former South African president Jacob Zuma’s uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) party on Tuesday applied to the country’s top court.

It was gathered that the party planned to block the newly elected parliament from sitting this week because the May 29 general elections were marred by fraud and vote rigging.

The National Assembly is due to convene on Friday for lawmakers to swear the oath of office and elect their speaker, deputy speaker and the country’s president.

The challenge from the MK party comes as South Africa faces a level of political uncertainty unseen in 30 years of democracy, with no clarity as to who will govern the country when the electoral dust settles.

The ruling African National Congress, which has been in power since the end of apartheid in 1994, lost its majority but remains the biggest party, and is now negotiating with a range of other parties with opposed policy aspirations.

The MK party came a surprisingly strong third, winning 14.6% of the vote which translates into 58 seats in the 400-seat chamber.

Despite its success, the party alleged that vote-rigging took place and threatened to boycott the new parliament.

“The 2024 elections were anything but free and fair,” said Sihle Ngubane, MK’s secretary-general, in the party’s application to the Constitutional Court, which it circulated to the media on Tuesday via a WhatsApp group.

The Independent Electoral Commission and other parties said the election was free and fair, and South Africa does not have a history of significant vote fraud.

Executive secretary of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution, Lawson Naidoo while referring to MK’s court application said, “My view is that it’s not going to change anything that happens between now and Friday.”

He said there was not enough substance in the party’s document to warrant the intervention of the Constitutional Court.

Pierre de Vos, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Cape Town, said the application would not be successful as the law was clearly against MK.

“I am assuming the application was brought for political and not legal reasons,” he said in a post on X.