Home News Jacob Zuma’s MK Party Moves to Block Parliament’s First Sitting

Jacob Zuma’s MK Party Moves to Block Parliament’s First Sitting

by Central News Reporter
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In a move ahead of the May 29 elections, the Umkhonto We Sizwe Party (MK Party), with strong backing from its president Jacob Zuma

Jacob Zuma MK Party President

The Umkhonto Wesizwe Party (MK Party), under the leadership of former President Jacob Zuma, has filed an urgent application with the Constitutional Court to block the first sitting of the National Assembly. This comes just weeks after the party emerged as the third-largest political formation in South Africa, securing 58 parliamentary seats in the 29 May 2024 elections.

Key Constitutional Challenge

The MK Party has invoked the Constitutional Court’s exclusive jurisdiction, seeking direct access to challenge the legitimacy and constitution of the National Assembly. Their urgent application, submitted on 10 June 2024, aims to interdict Chief Justice Raymond Zondo and Secretary of Parliament Xolile George from convening the assembly’s inaugural session scheduled for Friday.

Arguing that the first sitting is unconstitutional, the MK Party has declared its elected members will not attend, disputing Parliament’s interpretation of Section 46 of the Constitution. “Parliament is of the view that it is legally bound to facilitate the first sitting of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces at a date and time determined by the Chief Justice,” a statement from Parliament read. Citing Section 49(3) of the Constitution, the statement underscored Parliament’s responsibility to ensure the sittings proceed unless the election results are set aside by a court.

Case Breakdown

The application is divided into two parts:

  • Part A seeks urgent relief to suspend the first sitting of the National Assembly until it is properly constituted with no fewer than 350 members. According to the MK Party, proceeding with fewer members due to their boycott would render the assembly unconstitutional.
  • Part B petitions for a declaration that the Chief Justice’s act of convening the first sitting and the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) declaration of the elections as free and fair were unconstitutional. The MK Party is calling for the 2024 elections to be annulled and new elections held within 90 days. They argue the IEC prematurely declared the elections fair despite unresolved objections and irregularities, including a major system failure on 31 May 2024.
The uMkhonto Wesizwe Party (MK Party) has announced the expulsion of some of its key members, including the National Commander, Jabulani Khumalo. Khumalo, pivotal in registering the party in September 2023 purportedly on behalf of the party's leader, Jacob Zuma
The uMkhonto Wesizwe Party (MK Party) has announced the expulsion of some of its key members, including the National Commander, Jabulani Khumalo. Khumalo, pivotal in registering the party in September 2023 purportedly on behalf of the party’s leader, Jacob Zuma

Leadership Rift

In a perplexing twist, MK Party Founder Jabulani Khumalo has vowed to lead party members to Parliament for the first sitting, contradicting the party’s official stance. “I am planning to be part of the first sitting of the National Assembly on Friday morning when members of Parliament will be sworn in,” Khumalo said.

Parliament, however, took decisive action, cancelling travel and accommodation arrangements for the 58 elected MK Party members after the party announced their boycott. Parliaments’ spokesperson Moloto Mothapo stated, “In light of the MK party’s expressed decision not to attend the first sitting, Parliament has cancelled all arrangements for accommodation and flights to avoid incurring fruitless and wasteful expenditure.”

Khumalo’s Stand

Khumalo criticised the party’s official communication, calling it legally flawed and asserting that Parliament has already been constituted with the confirmed 400 members following the elections. “The true leader of MK, being myself, does not agree with it. Parliament has been constituted with 400 members,” Khumalo stated firmly.

He added that the MK members’ absence due to fear of victimisation by Zuma’s faction should not halt Parliamentary proceedings. “Zuma will not continue to abuse our democratic processes. I, on behalf of MK, accept the results as pronounced by the Independent Electoral Commission.”

Khumalo underscored the need for elected members to fulfil their duties and not get embroiled in the ongoing feud between Zuma and President Cyril Ramaphosa. “The voters want us to go to Parliament and stand up for them. We must not interfere in whatever issues exist between Zuma and Ramaphosa.”

Internal Party Conflicts

Khumalo has filed an urgent application in the Western Cape High Court to prevent Parliament and the MK Party from removing his name from the list of members to be sworn in on Friday. The case will be heard on Thursday.


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