ANC confident it has sniffed out MK turncoats

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) has dismissed threats that the former president Jacob Zuma-backed uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) Party could infiltrate its structures as a thing of the past, adding that the opposite was in fact true as some defectors made a U-turn back to the governing party.
Mafika Mndebele, ANC KZN spokesperson, conceded that while there were concerns of infiltration when some of the party’s senior leaders joined the MK, the party has regrouped.
“Even if there were these kinds of rogue elements within our movement, they would have been exposed. This was only December hype. Our members and everybody else are coming back home to the ANC,” Mndebele told Sunday World.
Threat remains
But despite Mndebele’s bold claims, party insiders said the threat was still live. They cited these whispers of betrayal and backstabbing as the reason the governing party recently deployed its top brass to campaign in the province.
The influx of ANC bigwigs, according to insiders close to the buzz at Luthuli House who prefer to remain nameless, was not just a show of force. It was a last-ditch effort to defuse the ticking time bomb that is the MK Party. 
Sources who spoke to Sunday World this week said that besides the assessment by the national working committee (NWC), which concluded that the provincial executive committee (PEC) led by Siboniso Duma lacked capacity, there was a view gaining traction that there were some senior leaders working against the ANC. 
“Before this, you will recall that the national executive committee felt that there was a need to bolster the capacity of the PEC. They indirectly stripped off powers to coordinate elections. Remember, the provincial secretary-general is the head of election,” said one ANC leader.
Zuma loyalists within
He further explained that the ANC top brass at Luthuli House believed that the majority of the PEC members were still loyal to former President Jacob Zuma. The latter is the face behind the MKP. 
“It was easier when we knew who our real enemies were in KZN, the IFP, and the DA. But now, with the Zuma party, it changes the entire picture. We know the posture of KZN comrades when it comes to the Zuma question. The mistrust comes from that. Some comrades have not recovered from the Zuma hangover,” he explained.
ANC top brass, including former president Thabo Mbeki will for the second time in less than a week descend to KZN. This to galvanise support ahead of the elections which is a few weeks from now. The ANC looks to retain power in one of the strategic provinces for the ruling party.
KwaZulu-Natal has over 5 million registered voters, the second-biggest after Gauteng. In the last elections in 2019, the party garnered 1.9 provincial votes and recorded just over a 54% majority.
Another senior leader pointed out the reason why the ANC mobilised all its resources to reclaim KZN. He said this was to avoid the situation of having to beg Zuma for support. 
“The likely situation is that if we do [not] get the outright majority, we have to negotiate a coalition with Msholozi. This is the situation we don’t want because the old man is unpredictable,” said the senior leader.
Ramaphosa not fazed
Speaking during a recent closed NEC meeting, Ramaphosa conceded that the MK party had posed an electoral threat to the ruling party. “We have countered these offspring before. The COPE, UDM, and EFF,” he said in a recorded audio clip that eventually leaked to the media.
He also explained that although the doomsayers and surveys had predicted an electoral bloodbath for the ANC, the party would emerge victorious. Ramaphosa recently took a swipe at NEC members deployed in provinces. He said they were sleeping on duty. 
“I must say that during the NWC on Monday, it was recorded that there are a number of NEC members who are not meeting their commitments,” he lashed out. 
Sunday World also understands that there was also fear inside the governing party. The fear that MKP may go to bed with the EFF and other smaller parties to dislodge the ANC.
Experts pour cold water on MKP
While the MKP believes it will win a two-thirds majority, some are not convinced. Zakhele Ndlovu, a University of KwaZulu-Natal political analyst, begs to differ. He explained that this was a political gimmick by the party. The gimmick is to project the view that Zuma is popular among South Africans and not the Zulus.
He said that in the history of post-apartheid South Africa, no new political party has ever won an outright majority. 
“Although the ANC looks set to lose support to the MK Party in KZN, it will still retain power through MK Party support,” said Ndlovu. 
He also explained that the MK party is not likely to make an impact in other provinces. Only in provinces with predominantly Zulu-speaking people, such as Mpumalanga and KZN. 
The ANC also resolved to take a hardline against negative media reporting about the party ahead of the elections. It said there will be consequences.

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