Home South African MK Party vows to lodge fresh case of vote-rigging

MK Party vows to lodge fresh case of vote-rigging

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The MK Party, led by the erstwhile president Jacob Zuma, says it would launch a fresh court bid “soon” after combing through the “new” evidence it has gathered.

Former president Jacob Zuma’s party Umkhonto weSizwe Party has vowed to lodge a fresh case of vote-rigging against the Independent Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) after withdrawing the initial case. | Itumeleng English/ Independent Newspapers

FOLLOWING its abrupt decision to pull the plug on its vote-rigging court case, the uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) has vowed its legal battle with the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) was far from over.

The party, led by the erstwhile president Jacob Zuma, says it would launch a fresh court bid “soon” after combing through the “new” evidence.

The MKP has been alleging that the May 29 elections were rigged – claiming more than 9.3 million votes were unaccounted for.

In an interview with the Daily News after withdrawing the case on Wednesday, MKP spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela claimed that they uncovered new evidence that proved the election was littered with irregularities.

“The fact remains that the elections were rigged to the detriment of the MKP. We can’t disclose the new evidence we have now until we take the matter back to court again,” he said.

In an earlier statement, Ndhlela had said: “The MKP has now gained further evidence of election irregularities and vote rigging. We have, however, also been advised by our legal counsel that there are procedural and technical issues that will be further brought to the fore to present such evidence before the application can be adjudicated upon by a new application to set aside the election results and the declaration thereof by the IEC.”

The statement added: “In light of the above-mentioned, the MKP will be filing a new court case with the necessary courts as a matter of urgency.”

A letter from the MKP’s attorneys, JG & Xulu Incorporated, to the Electoral Court said that the withdrawal of the case was “In no way an admission that our client does not have a compelling case for the order it seeks. The contrary is true.”

It added: “The experts that we have engaged continue to uncover further evidence of election irregularities that are so serious that it would be reckless to risk the application being dismissed on the basis of IEC’s technicalities.

“Given these circumstances and to further ensure that all the evidence in the possession of the MKP is presented before the court in a manner that enables a fair adjudication of the matter, we have been advised that the application should be withdrawn for now. In light of the above mentioned, MKP will be filing a new court case with the necessary courts as a matter of urgency.”

The MKP would not be drawn into commenting as to when the party was likely to lodge a case against the IEC and the other respondents – which included in the initial papers, President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The MKP, launched in September last year and endorsed by Zuma in December, raked in 58 seats in the National Assembly, becoming the official opposition against the political parties that have banded together under the ANC-led Government of National Unity.

In KZN, the MKP’s strongest base of support, the party managed 37 seats in the provincial legislature with 80 seats.

Alleging that the votes were rigged, the 58 MKP MPs initially boycotted the first sitting of the National Assembly, but made an about-turn last week and joined the rest of the 400 MPs.

The MKP has another separate court case where it is fighting to nullify the election of KZN Premier Thami Ntuli, speaker of the provincial legislature Nontembeko Boyce and her deputy, Mmabatho Tembe.

The MKP’s Dr Kwazi Mbanjwa, former Zuma’s adviser during his presidential tenure, told the Daily News that the election of the trio was marred by irregularities.

The chairperson of the non-profit organisation Real Democracy also joined in the legal fight, opening a separate case over the alleged irregularities during the first sitting of the provincial legislature.

The IEC has repeatedly refuted the allegations made by the MKP.

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