South Africa

ANALYSIS

The King Am I — MK’s incendiary manifesto manifests grinding contempt for SA’s democracy and Constitution

The King Am I — MK’s incendiary manifesto manifests grinding contempt for SA’s democracy and Constitution
Illustrative image / sources: Fire rages in the streets of the township near Ermelo, Mpumalanga. (Photo: Gallo Images/ Foto24 / Felix Dlangamandla) | A protester drags a buring tyre.(Photo: Gallo Images / Foto24 / Felix Dlangamandla) | A South African flag in a settlement in Strandfontein, Cape Town. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Nic Bothma) | Houses of Parliament. (Photo: Leila Dougan ) | MK party supporters protest outside the Electoral Court in Bloemfontein on 19 March 2024. (Photo: Gallo Images / Volksblad / Mlungisi Louw) | An uMkhonto Wesizwe party member outside the Gauteng Division of the High Court in Johannesburg. (Photo: Gallo Images/Fani Mahuntsi)

The manifesto of former president Jacob Zuma’s uMkhonto Wesizwe party is probably the most radical assemblage of promises of any party likely to win a significant share of the vote in the upcoming general election. It promises to literally remove the Constitution and to dramatically increase the role of the state in the economy. It is incendiary, perhaps deliberately so.

Last week, uMkhonto Wesizwe (MK party) published its manifesto on its website. Unlike most other political parties, there was no ceremony or rally to launch the document.

While there is much to criticise in the practice of stadiumology (the science of assessing a political party’s support through the number of people at its events), MK’s opponents can claim it has ducked the chance to show whether it too can fill up a big arena.

Also, it is not clear how the manifesto was drafted and who was involved in it.

While this is true of many other parties (although not all — the ANC had a “manifesto review tour”), considering that MK has had no electoral or political conferences, the process behind the drafting of this document remains a mystery.

The document imagines a future in which MK moves South Africa in a fundamentally different direction, where more power goes to “parliamentary supremacy” and the unelected people, with the removal of constitutional rights as they are currently understood.

The starting point is clear: each of the “nine pillars” begins with the word “reclaim”. There are pillars about “Reclaiming People’s Power” and “Reclaiming our Economy”.

In other words, the basis for the document is that something has been taken, or perhaps stolen, from the people.

The document says MK wants to change South Africa by “moving our country away from constitutional supremacy toward unfettered parliamentary supremacy”.

At a stroke, this would allow whoever held the majority in Parliament to do whatever they wanted, and no judge would be able to stop them, as there would be no Constitution.

This is more proof that what Zuma stands for now is diametrically opposed to what he said when he was president.

Since at least 2008, Zuma has claimed that his rights have been violated and that he is a victim. Just two weeks ago, Zuma’s advocate Dali Mpofu based part of his argument for Zuma to be allowed to stand for Parliament on his constitutional rights — the very rights that Zuma now wants to abolish.

Zuma took an oath, at least twice, to uphold the Constitution when he was inaugurated as president.

He also claimed many times while president that he supported the Constitution.

A House of Unelected People

The MK manifesto also proposes a major change to Parliament, promising to “establish a lower house of parliament comprised of elected representatives and an upper house comprised of Indigenous kings and queens as well as other traditional leaders”.

There are no details of what powers this House of Unelected People would have. So, for example, could it be that MK wants to have a House of Parliament of unelected people who can veto legislation?

The party envisages traditional leaders playing a greater role in other ways. It would, for example, give them greater control over land.

In the manifesto, MK promises to hold a referendum on reintroducing the death penalty and to introduce mandatory conscription for “every young person reaching the age of 18”.

The document contains other curious ideas.

For example, MK says it wants to reduce the number of provinces from nine to four and to demarcate provincial boundaries.

While there are strong arguments for reducing the number of provinces (and to cut down on the amount spent on running provincial legislatures, and salaries for premiers, MECs, their VIP protection, etc), no scientific reason is given to select four as the number. The only previous time SA had four provinces was because of the history of two British colonies and two Boer republics.

This is an odd coincidence for a party focused on “reclaiming” what was taken.

Some of the other measures are to be expected.

For example, MK wants to expropriate all land without compensation and transfer it to the state, and for it to be under the custody of traditional leaders.

Zuma has been heading in this direction for many years. It was his supporters who pushed the ANC into passing a resolution at the party’s 2017 Nasrec conference to allow the expropriation of land without compensation.

MK also wants to “nationalise strategic mining firms and regulate private capital participation in resource exploitation”.

EFF leader Julius Malema may find this interesting, as one of the reasons he was expelled from the ANC under Zuma’s watch in 2012 was for campaigning for an uncannily similar policy.

A cry for redress

Much of the document is a lament, a cry for redress for the centuries of colonialism and apartheid. As the document puts it, “South African society is dominated culturally, artistically, spiritually, and economically by a minority group with an alien culture.”

The document is an attempt to dramatically change this.

Of course, MK is not the only party that wants to make major changes. And it is not the only party that wants to alter the Constitution. But it may be the only party contesting this election that wants to do away with the Constitution entirely.

This signals MK is truly radical and may help the party to gain attention and incite the opposition, which could in turn start a political fight that leads to it winning more attention and, accordingly, support.

On paper, this manifesto will make it difficult for MK to work with most other parties in Parliament (apart from the EFF). It is hard to imagine the ANC agreeing to work with a party that wants to remove the Constitution, when the Constitution is largely the work of the ANC.

However, as experience has shown, ideology and policy never stand in the way of political parties and politicians desperate for power.

And, as this, and many other manifestos show, they will say anything to win votes, especially if they plan to never need them again. DM

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Cachunk Cachunk says:

    Surely, surely, South African voters can’t be this stupid..?

    • Kevin Venter says:

      And yet, MK party exists and has support.

      • Senzo Moyakhe says:

        Personality cult politics are part of the SA political landscape. Part of why we stew in this bucket of crap today. Potatohead consistently delivered the KZN to the ANC, not based on principles – not that he or the cANCer has any – but tribal/race-based dogma. He’s simply dragging that constituency with him.

        I seem to vaguely remember a similar preacher in ‘30s Germany. Look at where that landed us up…

        • D'Esprit Dan says:

          Spot on! We’re far from alone in having populist demagogues in our political mainstream, however – just look at the US, with Trump, Brazil with Bolsanaro (thankfully departed), Philippines with Duterte (ditto), the UK with the Tory clusterphuck, Russia, India and China with their respective demagogues, Orban in Hungary etc. It really is the age of the uninformed and the time of the tyrants!

          • John Smythe says:

            Agree 99%. If the Tories are bad, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Keir Starmer is about to prove to the world that the UK is indeed destructible without even lifting a finger.

    • Ben Harper says:

      South African voters: “Hold my beer”

    • Henry Breuer says:

      Wanna bet?

    • PETER BAKER says:

      ….. oh yes they can… look at the voting over the past 30 years!!! Sad..

    • Heinrich Holt says:

      Sadly voter intelligence follows the law of statistics, with the average somewhere in the middle, which means that about 50% are below average, in other words somewhere in the area of stupidity. Very similar to the USA by the way, and history shows that this is an attractive playground for a certain type of politician.

    • Gerrie Pretorius says:

      Well, they have been for the past 30 (Maybe 80?) years. Why expect change now?

    • Gavin Hillyard says:

      South African voters aren’t stupid. But many are uninformed and unaware of where we are heading. Where do they get their information? SABC? Many don’t link the decline in their circumstances to the graft, corruption and mismanagement of the incumbent government. So populist words fall on fertile ears.

    • PETER BAKER says:

      …sadly we (South Africans) ARE that stupid. We have believed the lies dished out by the ANC since the end of the Mandela era. All for a T-shirt and bag of food.

    • PETER BAKER says:

      …sadly we (South Africans) ARE that stupid. We have believed the lies dished out by the ANC since the end of the Mandela era. All for a T-shirt and bag of food.

  • Frank Fettig says:

    SA, the best, the biggest, the most entertaining circus – since the days of Rome. Run entirely by clowns.
    But more of the dangerous kind.
    May the games begin!

  • Jane Lombard says:

    Why can’t these trolls be described as, say, ‘far right populists’, or ‘hard nationalists’ or however one might describe Modi or Organ? Can’t we leave “radical” to describe the nicer aspirations?

    And no. The EFF is NOT about social democratic justice. Muddling these terms doesn’t help.

    Thanks SG.

  • Steve Price says:

    RW Johnson in Biznews appears to have the best explanation for this manifesto. It is a prime example of Zuma’s friend and funder ie Putin’s Russia interfering in the SA election.

    • Ari Potah says:

      In addition to interfering in the election, my dog ate my breakfast this morning. I know with absolute certainty that the evil Putin is behind this disaster – and behind global warming, resistance to being “woke” and all – but I mean all – other evils.
      I mean, who else???

      • Trevor Gray says:

        Do you believe Vlad is the benevolent uncle deeply misunderstood but desperate to be the ambassador of world peace? Great! I have a breeding pair of unicorns going cheap. No bit coin or Zig currency though!

    • Rudolph Oosthuizen says:

      Spot on. Remember all Zuma’s visits to Russia for “medical” reasons.

  • Kanu Sukha says:

    Sounds like Gayton McKenzie is going to have some ‘competition’ ! Umshiniwham ! Way to go ! Carl Sonderhuis … must have had some input surely ? Or has he been ‘snapped up’ by some other party ?

    • D'Esprit Dan says:

      Sonderhuis! Love it! I think he’s trying to butter his bread with the EFF these days. He did have his own party for a week or two, I think, but found the red berets had slightly better tailors than his frumpy fatigues offered.

      • Kanu Sukha says:

        U bedoel hy is nou sonder party ook ? Ag shame ! Could not happen to a nicer guy.

      • ANTHONY MCGUINNESS says:

        I was under the impression that the EFF had a policy not allowing white membership. ‘Sonderhuis’ must be a little irritated that he never received the Memo that a new party called MK would started. He clearly wasn’t on the invitation list.

  • Kevin Venter says:

    Personally I cannot believe that Zuma gets the amount of support that he does. He has done nothing but to literally rape and pillage to enrich himself and his cronies and that is his sole purpose. This is the same man that was president, part of the ANC that was responsible for the drawing up of the constitution, and he now he suddenly doesn’t agree with it any more. That doesn’t say much about him and says even less about the people who blindly follow him. 29th May is going to be very enlightening. South Africa better get a graphic designer to incorporate a banana emblem on the flag.

  • Senzo Moyakhe says:

    Thank God the bulk of their support don’t know what “world wide web” means, hopefully keeps us safe from them reading this garbage they call a manifesto. Unfortunately, Potatohead is right up there at their doorstep, speaking to them in a language they understand, preaching values they espouse. That’s the scary part.

    It’s a pity that part of the reality of an accountable, responsible media is a need to report on court cases that bear genuine Constitutional relevance without bias; allows these fumbletons media time to reach out to people they otherwise would not have (people don’t vote for what they have never seen).

    (DM, please do not be so paranoid, not everytime we type w_w_w are we linking to another website. There are other parts of an URL that are needed to complete a web address. Surely your algorithms should be able to read and filter out as required.)

    • Bosman Puren says:

      Agreed. Also they appeal to the unemployed and poor. They dont care if the state funds will be looted as they dont contribute to the tax pool

      • Simphwe Khumalo says:

        Unfortunately most whites that are so negative are pushing us to the likes of Zuma and Malema. Some of us are so educated, but the arrogance by some is poisonous for some of our kids, that’s why I always refrain from reading DM articles and comments – just too many racists.

        • Ben Harper says:

          Hahahaha

        • John P says:

          Simphwe there certainly are some racists that comment on this forum and not all of them are white, that should not affect your voting decision.
          I can only suggest that you vote for what is best for ALL the citizens of this country and not for those who only want your vote so that they are in power and can enrich themselves, their family and their friends while leaving the majority of voters starving.

        • B M says:

          You are not oppressed by people with white skin. Don’t turn something that isn’t racist into something racist. That makes you a racist. Your rationality and intelligence should guide your decision making. Vote for who you think will govern well and improve your quality of life over the next 5 years. Not to get back at “arrogant white racists”.

    • Graeme J says:

      You’re obviously not on Twitter (X). There are an awful number of ANC/EFF/MK trolls on there. It’s one of the reasons I stopped using the service. The inflammatory speech is just too aggressive and is bad for everyone’s mental health.

  • Iam Fedup says:

    “When you are dead, you don’t know you are dead. The pain is felt by others. The same happens when you are stupid.” (Unknown.) Dunning-Kruger effect all over again.

  • Peter Strydom says:

    Only Fools and Horses.
    We at least know who the fool is.

  • Ann Bown says:

    JZ thrives on chaos, disorder, a messy desk, unfettered control and showing the middle finger to justice! In a coalition with the EFF this ‘Mighty Mouse’ MK could win this election thru tribal votes. . It’s shambolic – which how this man likes it!

  • Carsten Rasch says:

    People fear the return of apartheid, run by whites. But the real danger is apartheid run by black Africans. It’s clear (to me, at least) that Zuma wants to turn the country into a series of Bantustans, the most powerful of which will be the Zulus; rid it of our constitution so that nothing stands in his way; rid it of whites and take what they have; and rid it of democracy, because once the Zumas are in power, they will remain in power forever. Till Jesus comes. An evil, evil mafa who has zero integrity and a hunger for power that has no match on this planet.

  • BOB Rernard says:

    Reading the manifesto, the name POL POT comes to mind.

  • Henry Henry says:

    MK party in essence then a rightwing party. A Black party on the right of the political/ideological spectrum?

  • D'Esprit Dan says:

    We really are approaching the bottom of the barrel in terms of political ‘thought’ in South Africa. We now have more parties advocating for policies that have failed and caused untold misery and destruction than ever before, based on the levels of poverty in South Africa and the discontent with the current status quo – which is in place 100% because of the corruption and cadre deployment of the ANC and all of their splinter parties and like-minded (?) apologists who refuse to acknowledge that democratic South Africa has been crippled by mindless policy, useless implementation, and complete corruption from the Presidency to the smallest town council. So what do they want? To double down on this mindlessness and plunder!

  • Denise Smit says:

    Methinks it is time to rethink the ANC/DA alliance

    • Peppy Anckorn says:

      The ANC leaders are so corrupt. How could the DA ally themselves with the ANC. What about the bad apples.

    • Karl Sittlinger says:

      Do you think that the ANC would for instance agree to fire Cele and Mantashe as part of the coalition agreement? Alot of people like to paint the DA as the arrogant inflexible party, but the ANC is much worse. They won’t let anyone tell them how to run their party or this country no matter the obvious urgency.

      • Glyn Morgan says:

        Which party would you like to run SA? The “arrogant, inflexible” party you mention? Or the ANC/EFF/MK? So the question is…. Why keep knocking the “arrogant, inflexible ” one?

        • Gerrie Pretorius says:

          Relax Glyn. I don’t believe that’s what Karl said nor implied at all!

          • B M says:

            Put DA and any word with a possibly negative connotation in the same paragraph, never-mind sentence, and see the cry of victimhood immediately. Perhaps Dali should provide “political persecution” defence for our staunch DA defenders.

    • Norman Sander says:

      DA would then become irrelevant by association. Their beliefs and policies are direct opposites….it cannot work.

  • John P says:

    The western concept of democracy does not sit well with the peoples of Africa. A feudal system consisting of monarchy/nobility, clergy and vassals seems to be what they want. The King and nobility can do no wrong and live off the fat of the land, the vassals are thankful to work all day and live off the scraps and the clergy are there to promise paradise after death to those who toe the line.

  • Ken Meyer says:

    If this manifesto makes the dreaded coalition between the ANC (minus Ramasofa) and MK impossible, then Zuma did us a favour. The vast majority of ANC comrades know what a tribalist state would look like: the Zulus rule. Nevertheless, I hope he does well in KZN and then pushes for far more autonomy for the provinces. That is what we should have had in 1994.

    • Hanief Haider says:

      But what if there is support within the ANC for some of the ideas in the manifesto?
      Some of them came from previous ANC resolutions.
      Then also some of the ideas found in EFF manifesto eg.land.

  • Lawrence Jacobson says:

    Suggesting that stupidity is a big reason for Zuma being supported says more about the suggester than the suggested. Academic achievement is not a yardstick of clever. A person can be illiterate and still have a great understanding of life, how to live, how to survive, and an awareness of what is wrong in their life and why. The reasons for Zuma’s support goes deeper than this. Frustration with the Constitution also goes deeper than this. I was particularly struck by the line in the manifesto that stated: “South African society is dominated culturally, artistically, spiritually, and economically by a minority group with an alien culture.” A minority group with an alien culture. I have often heard criticism of refugees from non-Western countries who hate and fight against their country of refuge because its customs, culture and laws are foreign to them. Could that be a perspective on South Africans whose ancestory exists outside of Africa?

    I do not support populism and have little trust for Jacob Zuma. What I would like to hear and learn more about is why some people resonate so strongly with his message. America does itself a disservice to dismiss the anger that existed before Donald Trump tapped into it. I feel South Africa is doing the same if we right off people’s anger as them being manipulated by populist politicians.

    • Ben Harper says:

      30 years worth of election results debunks your theory

      • D'Esprit Dan says:

        And 48 years of voting for the Nats? It seems that South Africa has a long history of stupid voters, if you’re right.

        • John P says:

          The difference is that those voting for the Nats knew they were onto a good thing as the whole system under the Nats was designed to look after all the Nat voters. Those voting for the ANC or MK parties are voting for a government that is only good for the connected elite and just abuses the majority of their voters.

        • Ben Harper says:

          Where was SA in terms of infrastructure and stability then vs now. Trying to excuse the current regime’s position and failings with the votes for the previous regime is rather pathetic

          • Rodney Weidemann says:

            Well, the infrastructure the Nats put up for the WHITE minority was strong and worked well, but it’s a lot easier to pull off when you only have 5m people’s interests to look after, AND you have access to a massive and cheap labour pool…
            Oh, and we lived with a state of emergency for a number of years, so your reference to ‘stability’ is also a bit pointless

    • Middle aged Mike says:

      People doing plainly stupid things for 20+ years despite the evidence of the effect of their stupid decisions is a quacking duck. No amount of excuse making and blame shifting changes that.

      • D'Esprit Dan says:

        Let’s not forget that in the last election under white rule in South Africa, there was a lurch to the right by voters, despite the whole world telling them how morally repugnant apartheid was, and despite the massive financial and physical cost of maintaining a dead ideology. 48 years of quacking ducks!

        • Middle aged Mike says:

          Do you imagine I forget? If you do you couldn’t be more wrong. The people who kept the Nats in power and those who leaned into the KP etc. were every bit as stupid as the muppets who gave us Zuma and Ramaphosa. Ethno-nationalists come in all flavours and colours and all are a curse on their countries.

        • Ben Harper says:

          So your excusing 30 years of destruction of the country on the previous regime then?

    • Middle aged Mike says:

      People doing plainly stupid things for 20+ years despite the evidence of the effect of their stupid decisions is a quacking duck. No amount of excuse making and blame shifting changes that.

    • K P says:

      I wish there was more of this self-reflection in politics today? I do believe that the level of anger and hopelessness is so high in places we can’t even imagine. Sitting in our homes with running water (sometimes), legal electricity and security fences. If only there was some indication from the opposition that they were willing to look more closely at those they call ‘stupid’, they may find that there is another way to win this. I’m sure it’s not Psych 101, but maybe 201? The quicker we are to turn up our noses at those who have a different opinion, and label them as ‘stupid’, the faster we fall into disunity and chaos. The USA has given us a masterclass in this. We’d do well to avoid their disaster.

      • Middle aged Mike says:

        This assumes that the people who do the stupid things notice what the people they detest say and if they do that they care and if they care that they may behave differently if a cuddlier message was heard. Other than promising the same stupid Venezuela or Zimbabwe style stuff they hear in the manifestos of the likes of MK I’m not sure what you’d see making the difference in terms of swinging the vote.

    • Tamara Cohen says:

      I agree with you 100% Lawrence Jacobson. Calling huge groups of people stupid and not taking the time to consider why they are so angry is, I believe, the reason democracy is facing challenging times all over. I also agree that “South African society is dominated culturally, artistically, spiritually, and economically by a minority group with an alien culture.” is a very important case in point.

  • Rudolph Oosthuizen says:

    From (Putin’s) Russia with love.

  • Geoff Coles says:

    Don’t these bozos, if elected to Parliament, have to swear an oath to uphold and abide by the Constitution?

    • Andrew R says:

      The oath means nothing if the people taking it don’t have a shred of integrity in them. The ANC and EFF have been giving their oath the middle-finger for years. They have no conscience, therefore the oath has no effect on their daily lives.

    • Alan Watkins says:

      Yes, and they have to get 75% of the votes to amend or delete the constitution. I think these clowns will be just that, but competing with the eff

    • Alan Watkins says:

      Yes, and they have to get 75% of the votes to amend or delete the constitution. I think these clowns will be just that, but competing with the eff

  • Niki Moore says:

    This manifesto dreams of a return to pre-colonial Africa, and it is easy to see that this would be attractive to nationalists and traditionalists. Don’t we all yearn for a return to a more uncomplicated age? The details, however, would be interesting, as it would result in complete de-industrialisation and a return to the pastoral landscape last seen in the 1800s. The world has moved on, and it is completely unworkable. It is therefore just a wishlist – a document aimed at emotions to evoke a response and reaction. I doubt that the people who wrote this have any intention of carrying it out and even if they did, not the faintest idea of how to do so.

    • Rob vZ says:

      Cambodian Khmer Rouge, the Russian Revolution and the Chinese Cultural Revolution had the same anti-intellectual, anti-foreign, pastoral wet dream. In all cases it resulted in mass starvation and the complete destruction of a generation. Delusional ideas thrown around by ignorant strongmen, who are the last to suffer the real-world consequences of their feudal fantasies.

  • Geoff Coles says:

    There’s a couple of references to Potatohead…..surely Showerhead?

  • Annette Jahnel says:

    Before the Europeans came along, the Zulu was spearheading a reign of terror, discord, and despair among the other tribes of Southern Africa, seems we are headed back that way. The Zulu Nation is not, has never been, interested in being part of the South African rainbow nation, it wants to roll back time and reign supreme. It has many current examples from around the world that it can follow.
    All ruling democracies can share the blame here, if they had been honest and actually made good on their election promises of a better deal for all, we would not be here. But I firmly believe the idea of being honest is simply outside of the mental scope of anyone in the political sphere.

    • Ben Harper says:

      We never really left that behind, it’s still very much there, most of the anc infighting has been along tribal lines

    • Paul Hjul says:

      Actually “Zulu” as a kingdom with great influence on the political landscape post-dates the arrival of the Dutch by a long way. Without concurring with the hypothesis or conclusions it is worth pointing to Julian Cobbing’s work on the mythology of the Mfecane.

      The Zulu kingdom has a prime minister because it is conceptualised in a very Victorian mould.

      I don’t say this to undermine the validity of Zulu nationalism or the like. The fact that Zulu identity is forged in a particular historical context has consequences.

      Zuma in my view isn’t a patriotic adherent to Zulu national identity but he knows how to play it. This document has heavy appeals leaning into that identity.

  • John Patson says:

    Lord Larry of Larifontein here, This idea for the upper house is absolutely spliffing and marvellous.
    I am busy creating documents showing traditional leader status from before 1066 as we speak…
    My good Reeve, Sipho, has been with the family for generations and will help muster the necessary votes among the serfs, Nkosi Zuma, old chap, do sent a cheque to me to encourage him.

  • Peter Merrington says:

    This will mean an Oaf of Office. Blood, iron and land. It’s a very nasty fantasy and I pray it’s quickly squelched.

  • Martin Weightman says:

    I have read some claptrap on my days, however this is the worst. No constitution and there another Haiti hoe can you run a country without rules Zuma will make himself empire ,and dictator, and we will end up like a Mish mash of Libya under Gaddafi or a dictator like Stalin , I hope the ordinary people of South Africa recognise this . Otherwise they will end in a spiral downward to oblivion.

  • David de Jong says:

    The proposed Upper house seems identical to Britain’s original House of Lords. Something the author has missed.

    • Simon Pamphilon says:

      Indeed. And the British parliament has supremacy, as did the apartheid parliament here. British courts can rule certain government actions “unconstitutional” (although there is no written constitution) but they cannot do so if parliament has passed a law enabling that action. I wonder if MK knows that they are proposing a return to the Westminster system.

  • Mark Hammick says:

    With sheep for voters, we end up with wolves as leaders.

  • Kevin Immelman says:

    Zuma – a literal and figurative rapist, a convicted criminal, with many other criminal charges hanging over his head, a thoroughly dishonest person and he is able to garner such support. Democracy is wasted on many of our countrymen.

  • Hilary Morris says:

    Just seen a very scary TikTok narrated by Andre Pienaar, linking Zuma strongly with Putin, who is allegedly wanting to replace the Wagner group with MK. The initials apparently have another Russian significance. In the age and era of fake news and misinformation, this one rings horribly possible. Zuma is a truly dangerous and nasty man, and like Trump, cares only about his own interests and power. Best we all get busy crossing fingers and encouraging as many as possible to vote against this insanity.

    • Rod H MacLeod says:

      Well, it would be FANTASTIC news if Putin replaced the Africa Corps [formerly known as Wagner group] with MK.
      That would be the immediate end of Russia’s foray into Africa.
      1. The MK operatives would not be able to operate between 12:30 on Fridays and 10:30 on Tuesdays, and they would be off duty from 16:30 each other day until 09:30 the following day, plus 2 x tea times a day and an hour for lunch.
      2. They would be on strike for about 1 in 8 days of their mildly functional days.
      3. They need three months paternity leave for each kid they sire.
      4. They need 30 sick days leave a year.
      5. They need 21 annual leave days.
      6. They need to attend at least 2 funerals a year for the same old uncle.
      7. They need expat allowances for killing and raping outside of SA’s borders.

  • Nicholas Battaliou says:

    Sounds very much like Westminster. No formal constitution, an unelected crony upper house and a lower house majority that does as it wishes.

  • Guy Goes says:

    Zuma is a traditional leader who sees our constitution as an impediment to his own political power.
    Democracy was never accepted or understood by Zuma but used and abused as a tool to stay out of jail or if it afforded some advantage.
    The sickening rubbish of bringing Colonialism, Apartheid and white citizens as reasons why South Africa has noticeably failed to develop as it should have over the last 30 years.
    The MK party is hoping to thrive on some sort of unrepented nostalgia, chiefs and traditional leadership et all, which is guaranteed to destroy what is left of this once leading industrial powerhouse in Africa.

  • Brendan Temple says:

    I bet the Guptas are rubbing their hands thinking, here comes round 2 for us to enrich our Grandchildren.

    Boggles the mind what is going on at the moment.

  • Jane Crankshaw says:

    It looks more and more like an ANC/DA coalition might have to balance the scales….who would have thought!

    • Glyn Morgan says:

      Take the number of voters in the “old ANC”. Now take off the EFF voters who left the ANC. Now take off the MKP voters who left the ANC and add to them some ex EFF voters. The total is roughly the same as the original ANC.

      Now we have a situation where the DA is the biggest opposition party but does not get 50% of the votes. The remainder of the ANC gets somewhere around 35%. That remainder may, at a stretch, be called the semi-sensible ANC. So would a coalition of semi-sensible ANC and sensible DA be possible? Practical? Super risky or just risky?

      Probably the formation of a strong federal state would be best. Provinces that can “go federal” do so. The Western Cape for a start, others follow when fit to do so.

      • Skinyela Skinyela says:

        You will have to amend the constitution first, before you implement federalism.

        But before you amend the constitution you will need to garner at least 2/3 majority, sometimes even 3/4 majority.

  • Stephen Brooks says:

    Zuma has said before that S Africa should have a justice system based on African customs and not white western law. Then a lot of the manifesto follows from there.
    Hopefully in the next few days , the consequences of implementing these policies will be spelled out. Remember Mr Weekend Special as finance minister?

  • Lynda Tyrer says:

    The MK is a one man wrecking ball its all about a man who thought he walked on water and fell into it and is now hell bent on getting revenge. Of course he could be the mere front for something more sinister and his handlers in the background are running the whole show , reminds me of Biden and his backers in the US, a toothless “leader” who no longer can think for himself and is pushed around like a wooden puppet. Their ages are very similar after all.

  • Theo Cromhout says:

    Once again Zuma makes a mockery of the system, embarrasses South Africa and demonstrates what an out of touch delusional idiot he is. How can anyone with a rational mind actually vote for him or this MK party.

  • Roeland Bik says:

    Wake up South-Afrika I beg you ????

  • Abel Mngadi says:

    Professor Soyinka has summed it up: Only in Africa will thieves be regrouping to loot again and the youths, whose future is being stolen, will be celebrating it. MK falls completely in this category. all the ANC thieves are gathered as MK determined to loot anything of what is left in this country. Zuma is a master in getting all the fools to gather under his wing and manipulate them for his own benefit. shame on them.

  • Fernando Moreira says:

    This what ANC voters have voted for all along . Zuma was ANC ,still is an ANC member, and he wants the ANC.
    This is classic communistic liberation movement politics ,keep it as confusing and convoleted as possible !
    It has worked a charm north of our borders !
    Vote DA !

  • Gary De Sousa says:

    A cut and paste of all the worst ideas from people who AI describes well but guarenteed to gather votes from a section sadly.
    The biggest state capture in the world.

  • Rudolph Oosthuizen says:

    “The West” and Russia are competing for stronger positions in Africa by striving to leverage good relations with South Africa. It seems to me that unfortunately while Putin and the Russian FSB are quietly involved and succeeding in strengthening relationships and hedging their bets with both Ramaphosa’s ANC and Zuma’s MK, the ANC are playing political games and frustrating the West. The West is virtually capitulating by being distracted with their own elections and the USA is traumatised by its own looming watershed election with Trump, also supported by Russia, being the thorn in their flesh.

  • ST ST says:

    For those mesmerised by JZ et al., please note. He is not a king. He served the longest as president. He had nearly 10 years when he was younger to do you good. Do you think he did?

    Most of our current political leaders, are not actually leaders. Not in a sense that would be expected of you as a leader in a company. If you lead they way they do, you’ll be fired.

    They are also not kings or messiahs sent from above for you to obey. They’re here to serve you-not the other way around. Albeit they only seem to remember that once every 5 years.

    Yes, they may had acceptable excuses for being such poor leaders in the past. No more. Not when they’re laughing all the way to the bank and Dubai and you’re left wondering how you’re going to pay for your bills this month and if you can get petrol without being killed.

    Yes as humans we are flawed. But most of the current politicians take this to another level. To say they take it to a sport or art form would be an insult to the incredible peoples in sports and art

    • Skinyela Skinyela says:

      1. I suspect that you preaching to the wrong ‘crowd’
      Maybe you should try to take this message to the townships, especially in informal settlements, and the rural areas.
      Make sure that you speak their language whilst at it.

      2. Zuma serves lesser period than Mbeki, by +/- seven months… Zuma was recalled in February 2018,Mbeki was recalled in September 2008.

      • ST ST says:

        Yeah thanks. I counted the terms afterwards with my fingers and toes and it didn’t add up.

        I wish I could take this message there…but am away. Even if I was there, been told it could be quite dangerous at the moment to do that. But a lot of different people read the DM. They may or may not comment. JZ supporters are not only in townships, informal settlements, and rural areas, you may be surprised. So I hope there are some here I can appeal to, if they’re still open to it.

  • Winston Bigsby says:

    Who cares? They’re ignorant cretins. If they get any votes it will be from their ilk..

  • Paul Van Uytrecht says:

    Sadly lacking from most of the comments here is an appreciation of the conditions of social injustice which in turn make it possible for those who have nothing to lose to support this dreadful man and his entourage. MK will be corrupt (and dangerous), the ANC is corrupt and the DA persists in the championing of discredited trickle-down economics as a way of uplifting the poor. What a mess!

  • Bob Fraser says:

    Bob F —- April 24th and 11:26
    South Africa will be in for one hell of a time if Zuma and his MK obtain such a majority that they can rule
    the country. In this event a civil war will be imminent. Fortunately this would be among the overwhelming majority, probably Zulus against all the rest

  • Titus Khoza says:

    In other words, MK envisages a country that will be perpetually Doomed!

    • Jane Crankshaw says:

      “They” envisage short term gains before the “shyte” hits the fan….thats all they need for their time to feed at the trough and rob the taxpayer futher!
      Oppoortunists at best, criminals at worst which is sadly the case!

  • Daniel Mah says:

    Similar things the likes of EFF, VF/FF, Cape Independence are propagating. The unsuspecting fools hear are the voters. There’s no party out there that has solution that will move this country forward in the right direction.

  • Richie Rich says:

    Ya neh, it is clear that South Africa is on a one way free fall towards a dictatorship.

  • Lisbeth Scalabrini says:

    MK could be dangerous. The courts must seriously prevent Zuma from being elected. Has anyone seen the judges’ reasons for him being allowed to appear as a candidate?

  • Mark Penwarden says:

    Wild stuff, but then what else could we expect from the Zuma camp!

  • Michael Kihato says:

    All the leaders you mention were elected by more than 50% of their populations. There is a tendency to denigrate such leaders as populist, demagogues, uninformed (Trump, Bolsanaro, I would hesitate in including the Tories as populist though). The system creates a class of disaffected, often excluded and vulnerable populations. They are unheard and often preached to by our centrist or lefty commonly middle class politics. Then we are surprised that these guys come into power. Looking down at them and their voters does not help. We need to address the issue why there is so much yearning for their type of politics.

    • Skinyela Skinyela says:

      Did Trump get win the popular vote in 2016?

      • John Brodrick says:

        He did not, but the peculiar US constitution allowed him to become president in spite of receiving fewer votes than his rival. The Nationalist Party got into power in 1948 in a similar way, with a minority of votes.

    • John Lewis says:

      It’s a myth that Trump voters are vulnerable or excluded. Trump got more votes from people earning more than $100,000 than Biden in 2020 and less from people earning less than $50,000. Tories did win some red wall support for their anti-migration stance, but the party’s mainstay has always been the NIMBYs in the south — very well-to-do folk, on the whole.

  • Nic Grobler says:

    Hilariously frightening. Does the SACP show any interest?

    • Skinyela Skinyela says:

      Any interest in MK Party?

      Why would they, since communism does not recognise traditional leadership.

      The aim of communist parties is to usher in socialism, not to take the world back to feudalism.

  • Albert Boorman says:

    The fact that a party could campaign on the message to replace the constitution and bring in a feudal court like system of literally “my word is law” is absurd, shocking, mystifying and deeply troubling.

    Advantage is that a good democratic leader will (hopefully) improve the living circumstances of the people, and thus get a vote. A good MK leader seems to have to just be a strongman who will keep his people in check, and if Zuma is aiming for the rural vote, it’ll mean a large move from those areas to areas with better service delivery and quality of life ala CT, Joburg and Durban.

  • Paul Hjul says:

    It would be interesting to know which language the manifesto was drafted in. It speaks of the importance of “indigenous languages” (a term which is unclear in the context) but I cannot find any version of the manifesto in anything other diatribe purporting to be English.

    At least the document gives a good lashing out against the Romans for giving us Roman Dutch-Law which magically is the basis of our Constitution – pretty sure the entire class of constitutional law proponents in South Africa will beg to disagree. Its a debate I wish would be had – whether the Constitutions in text supremacy of the Rule of Law imports Roman-Dutch or English constitutional theory and jurisprudence of the State. But they fail to give them a good lashing for their true crime of inventing Latin.

    So the real question is why on earth is MK using the English language (badly) and English legal concepts (parliamentary sovereignty, and the whole idea of a dude with a pointy hat and birthrights having power) in an “African context”. Like Mugabe, Zuma and co constantly reveal their Victorian fetish. I swear the lot of them love wailing as to what have the English ever done for them while sipping Earl Grey tea and watching the cricket.

    Maybe deep down Zuma (like Trump) just wants a governess to take him over her need and smack his bottom with a magazine. The pesky constitution having abolished corporal punishment stands in the way.

    • Skinyela Skinyela says:

      “and the whole idea of a dude with a pointy hat and birthrights having power)”

      He does not necessarily need to wear a pointy hat, just a crown made from the skin of a lion and/or leopard.

  • Themba Cebekhulu says:

    This shift would likely result in a significant restructuring of the government and could potentially lead to a more authoritarian regime. The implications of such a change would be far-reaching and could have lasting effects on the country’s political landscape. While it is important to consider potential changes to the political system, it is also crucial to ensure that any shifts do not infringe upon the rights and freedoms of the citizens. A move towards more parliamentary supremacy could undermine the principles of democracy and lead to a lack of checks and balances in governance. For example, if a country were to transition from a presidential system to a parliamentary system, the president’s powers would be significantly reduced in favour of the parliament. This could lead to a concentration of power in the hands of a few political leaders and potentially limit the ability of the judiciary and other branches of government to provide oversight. This shift could ultimately weaken democratic institutions and result in decreased accountability within the government.

  • Peter Worman says:

    Interesting ideas coming from a party funded by capitalists and despite what his senior followers say and including Zuma and his extended family, they have all embraced western culture and its trappings. So this manifesto is clearly aimed at the uneducated majority because they think this will be an end to all their troubles. This will leave their so-called upper house (that sounds suspiciously like the British system of the house of lords and commons) free to allocate all the wealth of the country to themselves and their dodgy funders. China, the UAE, Russia and the like must be licking their lips at such a prospect

  • John Smythe says:

    And so the KZN sheep will follow because it appeals to their tradition of chiefs and people elected by chiefs. Those are the stories handed down to them from their grandparents and great grandparents. “Those were the days…..”

  • Alastair Moffat says:

    MK’s manifesto is pure Zuma. When he was president and being constrained by Section 9 bodies like the PP (Madonsela) he kept moaning about why he could not do whatever he wanted ” because the voters put him in power” and he did not see why anyone else mattered.

  • Geoff Young says:

    Constitutional democracy is under attack across the world and this MK party aberration is our local assailant. Straight out of Trump’s narcissistic playbook – maximum power for Zuma for as long as possible is the true meaning, disguised as MAGA (Make Africa Great Again). And by “great” they mean before the Europeans rudely colonised the continent and ruined everything. So they market their greed for permanent power with the seductive “lets go back to tribal, feudal Africa circa 1400 yet also keep the Breitling, iPhones, Louis Vuitton, Bentleys etc.” Laughable man!

    • mike van wyk says:

      …. you may have a point…. Africa was literally heaven on earth before colonisation…
      Colonisation may have brought commercial based prosperity, however before nature took care of much of the needs pretty well…

  • Johan Buys says:

    If former prisoner zuma wants land, that is what he will get. Land. No buildings, dams, cellars, mineshafts, transformers, cables, crops, herds, roads, factories and warehouses. That can be arranged over a long-weekend.

  • Gugu1 K says:

    “And, as this, and many other manifestos show, they will say anything to win votes, especially if they plan to never need them again”

    Ominous!

    But so very true. Pity so many people including MKP followers don’t realize that this general election may be the last democratic election in our lifetime.

  • Steven G says:

    Well if this program is implemented, sure there will be no one left of the “alien minority group” they are talking about. And they will also be able to rename the country so it reflects its new political and socio-economic state: you may chose between Southern Democratic Republic of Congo or South Somalia. Or maybe Austral Zimbabwe ?

  • Tony Reilly says:

    Too depressing. Hopefully this mob, together with its leader, become irrelevant after 29 May.

  • mike van wyk says:

    The self-serving mindset that informs SA politics provides no hope for the future – just despair. I’m absolutely certain that Zuma will find traction as the dismal level of education makes certain that much of the voter base cannot read, therefore cannot inform themselves – therefore trapped within the propaganda web and preyed upon.

  • Johan Buys says:

    We all fall for it : air supply to the Frankenstein.

    The media should apportion bandwidth on likely support. So 5% for the former prisoner and 5% for his side-kick Malema.

    Note to both of them : you don’t know what we know and we are not afraid.

  • Kris Marais says:

    Ex President Zuma = Paragon
    of Peasant Cunning. Bring back Conscription? I hope not. Machine gun? I doubt the Honourable Z knows how to reassemble a .50 Calibre Browning or in fact lock n’ load and fire it. He does however know how to incite hatred and mass action (Zlooting) and cow the organs of government. He is the uShaka of 21 st Century South Africa. iKhanda nJengezambanr

  • BulZA Swzi says:

    This is simply a test for the SA progress story, to know how to define ourselves as a nation more…the former president Barack Obama once put it perfectly where he says that when a ppl start to define themselves according to what they do and not according to their status then they can go the right direction. Unfortunately, the economically resourced demographics are equally at fault for raising up this constituency as are the tribalism enclaves…now it’s a matter of finally putting it to the test!

  • Greeff Kotzé says:

    Simply a barrage of pie-in-the-sky promises, with zero concern given as to how the expenditure could possibly be sustainably funded over the long term, nor the likelihood of cobbling together a parliamentary majority that would support even a fraction of these unrealistic proposals.

    There is nothing there that warrants serious analysis, or anything more than the most casual of dismissals, and yet pundits and the commentariat alike will fill reams of paper about it. Stop, just… stop. Don’t reward the absurd with credulity and free publicity. Penning multiple articles about this is nothing other than walking into a well-worn trap.

    The headline to this article might as well have been, “37 Radical Proposals from MK’s Election Manifesto Which Will Give WMC Chest Pains. Number 14 Will Astound You!”

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