Home South African Zuma sacks two key leaders in MK Party reshuffle

Zuma sacks two key leaders in MK Party reshuffle

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Political analysts have warned the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party that its continued reshuffling of officials would likely trigger uncertainty and political instability in the party, which is an official opposition with its 58 seats in the National Assembly.

The leader of the uMkhonto weSizwe Party, Jacob Zuma, has fired the MK Party secretary-general Arthur Zwane, along with treasurer-general Danisa Zulu. File picture: Independent Newspapers

DURBAN – Political analysts have warned the uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) that its continued reshuffling of officials would likely trigger uncertainty and political instability in the party, which is an official opposition with its 58 seats in the National Assembly.

This after Jacob Zuma wielded the axe, sacking MKP secretary-general Arthur Zwane and treasurer-general Danisa Zulu with immediate effect.

The MKP appointed Dr Sifiso Maseko as its new secretary-general, and Menzi Magubane took over as the new treasurer-general.

Zwane’s dramatic removal came barely two weeks after he took over the reins of the powerful secretary-general position from Sihle Ngubane, who was deployed to the National Assembly.

The party has 37 seats in the KwaZulu-Natal provincial legislature.

Zakhele Ndlovu, a political analyst from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, was blunt, saying MKP was Zuma’s “stokvel”.

“Zuma is running the show there. What is happening in the MK Party are signs of instability. A serious organisation cannot frequently change its senior leaders like the MK Party,” said Ndlovu.

Ndlovu questioned the delay in the MKP’s holding its elective conference to elect new leaders instead of relying on Zuma to make decisions.

“The MK Party should hold its conference so that it has elected structures. We can’t have a third-biggest party in the country without elected leaders. This is a recipe for instability that we see playing out in the MK Party,” said Ndlovu.

Another analyst, Siyabonga Ntombela, a politics lecturer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), said the unexpected reshuffles were part of Zuma’s style of politics.

“In a way, Zuma is consolidating power in the MK Party and reminding the leaders that he is in charge and no one is safe. Zuma is stamping his authority and is giving out the marching orders to MK Party backers.”

Ntombela warned that Zuma’s chopping and changing of leaders would ultimately lead to instability in the MKP.

The removal of Zwane and Zulu was ratified by Zuma in a letter dated June 28.

To Zwane, Zuma wrote: “Owing to the need of using limited and available human capital efficiently, I have decided to relinquish you from the secretary-general position with immediate effect.”

The letter added: “I will soon engage you regarding a new role you can play in the dynamic organisation.”

The letter sent to Zulu was similar.

Zuma also announced the disbandment of the Lower South Coast interim structure, with effect from July 1.

Zwane, a prominent former ANC member, said he was going to focus on his businesses.

In a letter he posted on X, Zwane said: “In the last two weeks I have realised that the volume of work in my office is huge and beyond my limits, especially because I have other competing business interests that I’m pursuing.”

When contacted, Zwane said he was not granting interviews “until further notice”.

The first person to be sacked by Zuma was the founder of the party, Jabulani Khumalo, in April.

His ill-fated bid to return hit a brick wall when the Electoral Court ruled against him last month.

Khumalo was axed in April alongside Lebogang Moepeng, Rochelle Davidson and Bhekizenzo Manzini. Bonginkosi Khanyile was rashly removed from being the MKP youth leader in April, barely two months after taking that position.

Meanwhile, an Independent Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) official, Musawenkosi Mnikathi, on Tuesday appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on charges relating to the contravention of the Electoral Act.

The matter was postponed as there was no electricity in the area.

Mnikathi was arrested during the May 29 general elections, further fuelling the MKP’s claims of vote-rigging. The IEC has repeatedly refuted the MKP’s allegations.

The MKP alleged that 9.3 million votes were unaccounted for, vowing to take the matter to the International Court of Justice in the Hague, Netherlands.

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