Elections 2024: eThekwini projected to fall to Zuma’s MK party as ANC suffers another blow

MK taking almost every rural district across KZN and key urban areas so far. Picture: Itumeleng English/ Independent Newspaper

MK taking almost every rural district across KZN and key urban areas so far. Picture: Itumeleng English/ Independent Newspaper

Published May 31, 2024


EThekwini, the ANC's stronghold in KZN, looks set to fall to the uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MK) which is ravaging ANC and IFP support in KwaZulu-Natal, internal projections from former president Jacob Zuma's fledgling party reveal.

MK is expected to lose less than 40 out of the 869 voting districts in eThekwini - signalling the final nail in the coffin for the ANC in the province.

Those lost so far include affluent DA areas like Kloof, Hillcrest and Durban North which include Umhlanga. In the King Cetshwayo region the party is expected to lose less than 10 wards of the 107 based on number crunches.

MK provincial co ordinator Buhle Khumalo also confirmed to IOL that it lost in 3 wards in UMhlathuze, the third largest Municipality in KZN. Two wards here were retained by the DA and one by the IFP. But, the losses are minimal as the results show the party heading for an unprecedented victory in KZN.

"Counting is still continuing but we are very happy with our outcome so far. We are expecting our numbers to still significantly increase but all good so far," Khumalo added.

The party's stunning win has left parties shocked, including the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) which has traditionally been the voice of rural KZN and the ANC, which has seen its support haemorrhaged by MK which has captured more than half of ANC votes in KZN.

Districts like Richmond in the uMgungundlovu in the Natal Midlands as well as other key ANC strongholds like Moses Mabhida region, Ilembe and several others all fell to the MK, as ANC looks on in disbelief.

MK has also snatched key IFP strongholds like Msinga, Ixopo and other northern Zululand districts.

Their success is being directly attributed to Zuma's behind the scenes talks with traditional leaders in those areas. "Zuma did a lot of work in going to chiefs, traditional leaders and also having Zulu Prince Mandlakapheli Zulu in the MK Party. This groundswell of support helped MK," prominent MK leader in KZN, Visvin Redddy, told IOL.

With MK taking almost every rural district across KZN and key urban areas so far, its become clear that identity politics played a huge role in clinching the party's success in the province.

For many voters in KZN, support for MK was seen as protecting Zulu interests. Their vote was also a lashing at the ANC for its treatment of former president Jacob Zuma who heads the MK party.

Opposition party leaders in KZN have reacted with philosophical defeat by the MK, with many blaming the ANC for the outcome.

"Ofcourse we feel defeated, but we will accept the will of the people and the results. We did everything humanely possible in this election campaign but it is what it is. But we have to respect the outcome and we are willing to enter coalition talks with any party to improve the lives of the people in KZN," says EFF's KZN Chairperson Mongezi Twala.

But, the DA's KZN leader, Francois Rogers cautioned the MK against assuming a landslide victory in KZN just yet. "If MK thinks its heading for a majority in KZN, its living in la la land. We predict they will take 32% of votes so we are heading for a coalition in KZN. The MK's success must be laid squarely at the door of the ANC which is led by factionalism and this is the result," Rogers told IOL.

The success of MK is made even more incredulous given their leadership and legal battles which saw them almost not making it on the ballot. Zuma himself was barred from contesting due to his prison sentence. Despite this, the party has managed to emerge the clear winner in KZN and is set to clinch third place nationally.

"I need some sleep but the adrenalin is still there. We are humbled, its a promising start for a small party but the real work to change lives begins now," says Muzi Ntshingila, MK's 41 year old head of elections.

IOL Politics