Khumalo loses ‘frivolous’ court bid to be reinstated as MK leader

Jabulani Khumalo, the controversial founder of uMkhonto weSizwe Party, was dealt a heavy blow when he lost a legal challenge to be reinstated as the president of the party.

Khumalo approached the Electoral Court on May 18 seeking to overturn a decision by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to substitute him with former president Jacob Zuma.

He wanted the court to set the decision aside on the grounds of invalidity and unlawfulness.

However, in a scathing judgment on Wednesday, the Electoral Court said Khumalo’s legal arguments were frivolous and lacked substance. 

“As further contended on behalf of the respondents, Mr Khumalo’s version is riddled with contradictions,” the court ruled.

“He placed Zuma on precautionary suspension on 5 May 2024. Yet, he alleged in his founding affidavit that Mr Zuma was never a member of the MK Party.”

Forged signature

When delivering the judgment, Judge Lebogang Modiba said Khumalo alleges in an IEC application to change the name of the party leader that the meeting in which application was doctored took place on April 23.

Yet, the application is dated April 9. 

Khumalo contended in his court papers that Zuma’s daughter, Duduzile Zuma-Sambudla, forged his signature and sent a letter to the commission requesting it to change the MK Party’s particulars by removing his name.

He pointed out that since he did not send the letter to the elections body as required in terms of Regulation 9 of the regulations for the registration of political parties, the IEC had exceeded its powers when it acted on the request Zuma-Sambudla sent using the alleged fraudulent letter.

Modiba said Khumalo’s version of events was full of contradictions.

Application devoid of merit

“The application is frivolous and completely devoid of merit. Barring jurisdiction, the points in limine raised by the respondents are dispositive of the application.

“It is unclear why Mr Khumalo persisted with the application because on his case on urgency, it has become moot.

“As contended on behalf of the respondents, this application should have not seen the light of day,” said Modiba.

A series of e-mails in which Khumalo is purported to have communicated with IEC insisting that Zuma becomes the face of the party in the ballot was also used to nail him.

He was also ordered to foot the bill for Zuma’s lawyers.

Ruled Modiba: “For all the above reasons, the application also constitutes an abuse of this court’s process and a waste of its judicial economy and the opposing respondents’ resources.

“They have incurred legal costs opposing an application that should not have seen the light of day. It would be unfair to leave the respondents out of pocket under these circumstances.

“A punitive costs order against Mr Khumalo is the most appropriate way of censuring Mr Khumalo’s conduct and sending a message to the public that making false statements under oath and abuse of this court’s process will not be countenanced.”

Demise of the ANC

Khumalo was expelled from the MK Party on grounds that he was a “spy” working against the party.

However, Khumalo is not going down without a fight.

On Tuesday, he filed an urgent application at the Western Cape High Court seeking to bar the MK Party from preventing him to become an MP.

The MK Party masterminded the demise of the ANC becoming the biggest party in KwaZulu-Natal legislature. It has 37 seats in the legislature.

The MK Party is also represented in key legislatures across the country.

In the National Assembly, the party gained 58 seats, overtaking the EFF as the third-largest party.

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