MK party’s Jabulani Khumalo says he is still leader of the party

The embattled Jabulani Khumalo was at the Electoral Commission of SA’s (IEC’s) results operations centre (ROC) in Midrand on Wednesday, in what he says was his capacity as a leader of the MK party, despite having been expelled by former president Jacob Zuma.

Khumalo insists he remains the leader of the MK party and that his supposed expulsion by Zuma has no effect because he cannot be expelled from his own organisation.

He has approached the electoral court to argue that his signature was forged in a letter that was sent to the IEC alleging that he had ceded all power to Zuma who has since assumed the role of the party leader. He argues in court that he registered the party in September and therefore remains its only legible leader and that he did not write the letter stating that Zuma was now the party leader.

Khumalo attended the launch of the IEC (ROC) that this year is at Gallagher Estate, Midrand. 

He was met with a barrage of questions from journalists who wanted to understand why he was at the ROC and in what capacity.

Khumalo gave short answers, remaining adamant he was the MK party’s leader. 

“I’m here because I’m the leader of MK. No, it’s not a futile exercise, how can it be?” asked Khumalo. “Who says I’m expelled? Who decides that I’m expelled? You can’t expel me from my own organisation, it’s impossible.”

It has taken the MK party only eight months for internal ructions to erupt over political differences. Zuma and Khumalo are at loggerheads over the leadership of the party. The tension is so high that Khumalo missed the party’s manifesto launch on Saturday.

Asked about his absence at the Orlando Stadium where at least 38,000 MK party supporters were said to be in attendance, Khumalo said: “I’m here as president Zuma is in KwaZulu-Natal”.

Pressed further, he said: “I didn’t miss it. Not to be there doesn’t mean that you missed it. The party is going to the elections on May 29, so leaders must go all over and canvas [votes]”.

He said that there was “no bad blood” between himself and Zuma and that he supported the intention by the party to approach the UN Human Rights Committee to review the Constitutional Court decision this week that Zuma was not eligible to contest to be a public representative.

Earlier in May, Zuma unilaterally took a decision to take power from Khumalo, who retaliated by issuing his own suspension of Zuma. He then approached the electoral court to seek the reversal of the decision by the IEC to remove him and make Zuma leader of the MK Party.

“In light of this information recorded and recognised by the IEC, Mr Zuma is neither the party leader, the president nor member of its executive committee. I am the president,” said Khumalo in court papers. 

Khumalo said Zuma, who was only the face of the MK elections campaign and held no official position in the party, took a unilateral decision to expel him. 

“To quote him: ‘Ngiyakuxosha’ (I am expelling you).’ I understood him to mean he is expelling me and removing me as party leader,” Khumalo said in the papers.

Asked about this court challenge at the IEC ROC on Wednesday, Khumalo refused to answer questions, saying the matter was “internal” and “not about the media”.


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