Zuma will have to account if ANC loses elections – Mbalula

The ANC will march to Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday for the party’s Mayihlome rally, heavily burdened by the prospect of having its majority severely reduced in KwaZulu-Natal or, at worst, begging other parties to stay in government.

This comes as the stakes are high in the province, with several parties aiming for the ANC’s scalp.

On Thursday, the ANC briefed the media on the party’s state of readiness ahead of its manifesto launch.

Party spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri, deputy secretary-general Nomvula Mokonyane, and secretary-general Fikile Mbalula attended the briefing.

They were joined by Siboniso Duma, the ANC chairperson in KwaZulu-Natal, and Bheki Mtolo, the provincial secretary.

Mbalula takes swipe at MKP

Mbalula made a dig at the former president Jacob Zuma-led uMkhonto weSizwe party (MKP), an ANC splinter group.

He said history would judge Zuma harshly should the ANC suffer an electoral defeat.

“The MK project is the project of our opponents to defeat the ANC,” Mbalula said.

“We didn’t think in our wildest dreams that we would be in KZN and everywhere in the country speaking about Zuma.

“He has strengthened the hand of our opponents, but he doesn’t see that. If the ANC fails, Zuma will be held accountable. He would have contributed to its failure.”

The MKP will stage a separate rally on Saturday in Scottburgh, which is more than 60km away from the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

The MKP is one of the parties to watch, according to a recent Social Research Foundation poll that predicted it would receive 24% of the provincial vote, placing the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal at slightly less than 26%, assuming a 60% voter turnout.

ANC anticipates high turnout

KwaZulu-Natal received 54% provincial electoral support in the most recent elections in 2019, a 10% decrease from the 64% the party received in 2014.

According to Mokonyane, a high turnout is anticipated on Saturday.

“We expect to have more than 70 000 people in attendance, and the president would like to give his address not later than 11am because of the weather that might prevail,” she said.

“Other provinces have also shown interest in attending, and we are still confirming their attendance.” she said.

Mbalula, on the other hand, pointed out that Moses Mabhida has always been a good omen for the 112-year-old party.

“We are coming to Moses Mabhida for the second time. KwaZulu-Natal and Moses Mabhida have always been good omens for us. The last time we were here, we achieved 57% of the national vote,” he said.

Though many polls predicted the ANC’s demise, Mbalula said the party had performed remarkably well in a number of elections.

27.4-million people have registered to vote

“I’ve been the ANC head of elections for some time. Even when we got a two-thirds majority, we never had a poll that said the ANC was polling at 60%, or 63%. It always puts us at 40% and below,” he said.

According to the Independent Electoral Commission, there are 27.4-million registered voters for the 2024 polls.

KwaZulu-Natal accounts for the second-biggest voting population at 5.7-million, while Gauteng has the biggest voting population at 6.4-million.

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