Home South African Dr John Hlophe explains why he chose MK party over EFF

Dr John Hlophe explains why he chose MK party over EFF

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NEWLY sworn-in parliamentary leader of the opposition, Dr John Hlophe, has explained why he chose former president Jacob Zuma’s MK Party over the EFF of Julius Malema.

Members of the MK Party, led by their parliamentary leader Dr John Hlophe, arrive at Parliament to be sworn in by the acting judge president of the Western Cape, Patricia Lynette Goliath, as new Members of Parliament for the 7th Administration. Picture: Phando Jikelo, Parliament of SA

By Hope Ntanzi

Newly sworn-in parliamentary leader of the opposition, Dr John Hlophe, has explained why he chose former president Jacob Zuma’s MK Party over the EFF of Julius Malema.

Malema first started flirting with the idea of Hlophe as an MP of the EFF when the sixth Parliament instituted impeachment proceedings in November last year.

By the time Hlophe was impeached after a vote in Parliament, Malema rolled out the red carpet, vowing “we can assure you that you will never go to bed hungry and this is inspired by the battle cry ‘An injury to one is an injury to all’. We love you JP Hlophe, freedom is coming on 29 May 2024,” Malema wrote in February.

Last week, Hlophe was announced as the leader of the MKP in Parliament and on Tuesday he was sworn in as leader of the Umkhonto weSizwe party, less than four months after Parliament voted to impeach him. Hlophe served for over 20 years as the judge president of the Western Cape Division of the High Court.

In an interview with the SABC, Hlophe said he was grateful to Malema and the EFF. He said the MKP and the EFF were both pan-Africanist parties who were not far apart in ideology.

He said Malema was the only politician who visited him when he was impeached.

‘’That is where I extended his friendship and his sincerity,’’ Hlophe said.

Moreover, Hlophe added that he was tempted to join the EFF, however, he decided to join the MKP, not for a leadership position, but for other issues closer to him.

‘’The MKP has respect for the Kingdom and the monarch in KwaZulu-Natal where I come from,’’ he said.

“I believe in that kingdom, monarch and the role the Zulu kingdom played,” he said.

Hlophe said the chief whip of the MKP was Sihle Ngubane, he was the leader of the opposition in Parliament and Zuma remained the president and the founder of the party.

In addition, Hlophe said his point of call is to work closely with his colleagues especially the chief whip, Ngubane, the secretary general, Arthur Zwane, and the spokesperson of the party, Nhlamulo Ndhlela.

“The first challenge is to build a team as well as trust so we understand each other very well so that there is no misunderstanding between us. It is important for us to be seen together so there is no division in leadership outside of the MK and inside Parliament,’’ he said.

Furthermore, Hlophe said if he was nominated to serve in the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) he would because the party believes in him and the party deployed him so he sees no reason for refusing.

“I don’t see any conflict at all because I am not a judge and I don’t want to become a judge,” he said.

Hlophe added that the ANC and other parties taking part in the Government of National Unity have made it clear to them that they do not want to work with the MKP. Hlophe said that is was regrettable, but the feeling was mutual.

“We also don’t want to work with those parties that don’t represent, we only want to work with progressive forces in this country like the EFF, ATM and other progressive parties,’’ said Hlophe.

The MKP was standing with the poor people and the ANC was no longer the party for the poor, said Hlophe.

“The GNU in our perspective will not work, it will implode like all coalition governments,’’ he said.

Hlophe said all GNU’s were government of national convenience and not unity but just mutual convenience.

Hlophe said the MKP would work constructively in Parliament and won’t engage in petty politics, while focusing on the issues at hand.

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