Blow for Zuma’s MK Party as NFP coalesces with ANC, DA and IFP

It’s official: the political newcomers, uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MK Party) led by former president Jacob Zuma, will be the official opposition in KwaZulu-Natal.

This is despite the party leading the pack in terms of provincial vote share.

The MK Party’s fate was sealed by the NFP, which waited until late on Thursday to announce who the party had picked to form government in KZN.

“We decided to join the government of national unity (GNU) to secure the future of generations to come. The spirit of partnership and maturity that have characterised the negotiations are a source of inspiration for millions of South Africans,” said NFP President Irvin Barnes, addressing a media briefing in uMhlanga, Durban.

Barnes also called upon all political parties in the new pact to hold joint rallies. This, according to him, will solidify working relations and unite all races. He also preached social cohesion, a key to the country’s progress and prosperity.

Government no place to settle political scores

“Our call is for peace and harmony in our land. There must not be a situation where the government is used to settle old political scores. This must be a thing of the past,” said Barnes.

The ANC was reduced to the third-biggest party in the province following the fierce provincial and national elections. It had banked on the NFP, the party’s longtime ally, to bring it back to power.

In the last general elections in 2019, the ANC garnered about 54% of the votes, translating to 44 legislature seats. But this changed dramatically. The party only managed to secure 14 seats in KZN in the 2024 elections. It shed 30 seats in the process.

IFP gets KZN premiership

The IFP, DA, NFP and ANC combined has 41 seats while the MK party remains with 37 seats. On Friday the provincial legislature will conduct the swearing in ceremony of the new Premier. It is expected to be the IFP’s KZN chairperson Thami Ntuli. The speaker and deputy speaker will also be sworn in. This will be followed by the swearing in of new members of the provincial legislature.

Even if the MK party would join for forces with the EFF, their combined seats will only be 39, a shortfall of two seats to make up a slim majority.

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