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MK founder Jabulani Khumalo back in court, challenging Zuma’s leadership

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Johnathan Paoli

uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party founder and former leader Jabulani Khumalo’s bid for reinstatement as the leader of the party is currently underway, with judgement expected to be reserved.

Khumalo appeared in the Electoral Court in Johannesburg on Monday to continue his legal crusade against former president and current MK leader Jacob Zuma.

This follows his filing of an application seeking the court’s assistance in removing Zuma as the leader of the party, claiming the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) acted outside the authority provided by the Electoral Commission Act in recognising the former president as party leader.

In addition, Khumalo’s legal team accused Zuma’s daughter, Duduzile Zuma-Sambudla of sending the commission a letter containing an allegedly forged signature of Khumalo, conceding his leadership to Zuma.

In his submission to the IEC, Khumalo said he formed the MK party in 2023 but had been removed as president.

Khumalo claimed he registered the party with the IEC on 7 September 2023, and simply consulted for political advice and guidance with Zuma.

“At all times it was always understood that Zuma was not a member of MKP, but would assist it in the campaign. In fact, when he announced his decision to vote and campaign for MKP on 16 December 2023, he made it clear he would remain a member of the ANC,” Khumalo wrote.

Khumalo admitted he did send a letter to the IEC confirming Zuma would be the face of the party, but rejected the confirmation of the former ANC leader as president of the party.

However, both Zuma and MK have denied his claims and said Khumalo was instructed to register the party in his name as part of a strategy, with the distinct understanding that Zuma would be in fact the real leader.

Khumalo was expelled from the party earlier this year, along with four other members, namely Ray Khumalo, Bheki Manzini, Lebo Moepeng and Rochelle Davidson, for what the party said was an attempt by external forces to destabilise the party.

MK national spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela said the party leadership made the decision to make Zuma the leader, for the benefit of all in the process of transformation.

“We want to categorically state that the National Leadership Core will always act and make decisions in the interest of all patriotic South Africans that want to see change,” he said.

Ndhlela accused Khumalo of being bitter and said all forms of communication with the former leader had broken down as his relationship with Zuma soured.

In addition, in a statement on Monday, the MK announced its removal of Simphiwe Mpungose as the provincial convener of the kwaZulu-Natal province.

While declining to supply the reasons for his removal, the statement said that Mpungose would remain a member of the party and be notified of his redeployment.

MK Secretary General Sihle Ngubane thanked Mpungose for his active role and said the party appreciated his contribution thus far.

MK achieved third place in the national and provincial elections, with a total of 2 344 096 votes, culminating in 58 seats in the National Assembly.

Meanwhile outside the South Gauteng high court angry MK supporters attacked Jabulani Khumalo throwing objects at his car.

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