Zuma barred from parliament
Former president Jacob Zuma is ineligible to stand as a candidate in the upcoming 29 May 2024 general elections. Image via X@00Dezz

Home » Elections 2024: Zuma confirmed as MK Party leader, will appear on election ballot

Elections 2024: Zuma confirmed as MK Party leader, will appear on election ballot

The IEC has confirmed that the MK Party has notified them that Jabulani Khumalo has been replaced by the former president as leader of the party.

16-04-24 16:28
Zuma barred from parliament
Former president Jacob Zuma is ineligible to stand as a candidate in the upcoming 29 May 2024 general elections. Image via X@00Dezz

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has confirmed that former president Jacob Zuma’s face will appear on the national election ballot, instead of Jabulani Khumalo.

IEC deputy chief electoral officer (CEO), Masego Sheburi told journalists on Tuesday, 16 April, that uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party had given them formal notice that Zuma was now the party’s leader, not Khumalo.

“The party has given us notice that Jabulani Khumalo is no longer the leader of MK Party,” Sheburi told the media after being queried about whose face would appear next to the party’s name on the national election ballot.

The IEC was updating the public on the “substantial progress” it had made ahead of the general elections scheduled for 29 May 2024 and the electoral body said it was now ready to print ballots.

Part of this progress was that the IEC had also decided on the layout and design of ballot paper, “underpinned by the following identifiers”:

The IEC has decided that ballots will be underpinned by the following identifiers, namely:

  • Full registered name of the party
  • The photograph of the registered party leader
  • Registered abbreviated name of the party
  • The registered emblem or symbol of the party

This means that the Zuma’s face will appear on the national ballot since he is now the leader of the MK Party. Although Zuma has been viewed as the ostensible face and leader of the party, Khumalo has been punted as the leader since the party’s launch in Soweto on 16 December 2024.

The party’s website has also been updated to reflect the change in leadership.

Screenshot of the MK Party website.

Khumalo is number on the MK Party’s national candidates list to Parliament, behind Zuma

IS ZUMA STILL AN ANC MEMBER?

Politically, this is a tricky time for the ANC, since Zuma remains a member of the party, albeit suspended.

The ruling party suspended the former president in January 2024 over his involvement with MK Party. However, it has yet to formally terminate his membership, even though ANC secretary-general said Zuma had effectively expelled himself.

“The ANC didn’t expel Jacob Zuma. He has expelled himself and his interpretation that he is still a member till he dies and is not leaving is his own interpretation. You want to be happy both sides, it doesn’t work like that,” Mbalula told SABC News in January.

At the weekend, Mbalula brushed off the MK Party, saying the ruling party was not distracted by Zuma’s “irritation”. He said the ANC was focused on achieving a two-thirds majority on 29 May.