Zuma casts vote as ANC, MK Party and IFP engage in last-ditch campaigns in Nkandla

MK Party supporters are arriving in their numbers where former president Jacob Zuma is expected to cast his vote in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal. (Alfonso Nqunjana/News24)

MK Party supporters are arriving in their numbers where former president Jacob Zuma is expected to cast his vote in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal. (Alfonso Nqunjana/News24)

  • Former ANC president Jacob Zuma will vote at the Ntolwane Primary School voting station, which is overlooked by his KwaDakwadunuse mansion.
  • The competitive atmosphere between his uMkhonto weSizwe Party, the IFP and the ANC was quite palpable earlier in the morning.
  • Find everything you need to know about the 2024 general elections on News24’s Elections Hub.

Former president Jacob Zuma smiled and waved to the crowds after casting his vote at Ntolwane Primary School in Nkandla before driving off in his convoy.

There was a mob around him, and his security had to push people around to allow him to enter his motorcade.

Inside the voting station, in true Zuma style,he greeted IEC officials and cracked jokes with journalists before casting his ballot.

From quite early in the morning, it was evident: Nkandla is a battleground for the IFP, MK Party and the ANC. 

There wasn’t a single poster of the EFF on the way from the CBD to kwaNxamalala.

Instead, streetlights, poles and overhead electrical cables were draped in IFP, ANC and MK Party posters. 

The IFP posters, bearing the late Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s face, were more dominant, while the ANC’s and the MK Party’s had President Cyril Ramaphosa and Jacob Zuma’s faces, respectively. 

Notably, while most of Zuma’s and Buthelezi’s posters were intact, Ramaphosa’s posters were vandalised, signaling the lack of support in an IFP stronghold where Zuma has a footprint.

ROLLING COVERAGE |  Party leaders vote as voters deal with long queues, arrests and ballot issues

As the heat climaxed to 25 degrees Celcius, more and more IFP, MK Party and ANC supporters started pouring into the Ntolwane Primary School voting station, where Zuma voted.

Zuma appeared briefly and was received warmly by the ululating crowd at the voting station. He cracked jokes with Electoral Commission of SA officials as well as journalists. 

Meanwhile, the competition was visible from the number of marquees set up by the three parties in both the CBD and outside the voting station.

Two drunk men, from the ANC and IFP, engaged in banter outside the Shoprite in the CBD, with the ANC supporter saying: “You’re drunk right now because of Ramaphosa’s R350.”

ANC supporter Thanda Mbabo from the ANC’s Msholozi branch sang, danced and tried to convince voters about his party. (Soyiso Maliti/News24)


Long-time IFP voter Bhekani Ndlovu says his party built amenities and infrastructure in Nkandla. (Soyiso Maliti/News24)

He was referring to the R350 social relief of distress grant.

The IFP-supporting man responded, mumbling something about Buthelezi’s achievements. 

The two members’ statements were echoed by IFP supporter Bhekani Ndlovu, 43, and ANC supporter Thanda Mbabo, who sung and milled about the voting station before they cast their votes.

Ndlovu, a Nxamalala resident, told News24: “I can tell you for free: I vote for the IFP. I have nothing to lose. The party built a building here where we certify our documents. We don’t have to go to town to certify documents when looking for business or employment.”

He added: “We have smallholdings because of Buthelezi and we plant vegetables there, so we’re independent because of the party. I’m here to vote to change the country’s situation by helping show what the IFP can do.” 

Meanwhile, Mbambo argued: 

The ANC freed us from hiding in the bushes under apartheid. White people used to have exclusive amenities, now we also have services, malls, and other things.

The R350 social grant is on everyone’s lips, especially in these parts.

Mbambo said: “The R350 grant was introduced by the party and we’re here to do our bit to ensure that they not only create jobs but that they don’t discontinue the R350 grant.” 

Meanwhile, the MK Party’s financial muscle entered Nkandla in a Toyota Fortuner. 

MK Business Movement (MKBM) deputy chair Sabelo Ndlovu told News24 they were funders who “try by all means” to ensure the party “shines” across the country.

mk party

IFP, MK Party and ANC supporters started pouring into the Ntolwane Primary School voting station, where Zuma will vote. (Alfonso Nqunjana/News24)

They’ve been doing just that – last month, Zuma was so chuffed after the MKBM donated a campaign truck and a Quantum taxi to the party.

The Quantum will be manned by security guards to protect the truck that has been criss-crossing some provinces.

Ndlovu said the MK Party “is there to unite all the Africans” and give recognition to all graduates and traditional leaders, a message that has been Zuma’s drumbeat on the campaign. 

mk party

Former president Jacob Zuma’s nephew, Bhekumuzi Zuma, who is the chief of the Nxamalala area, followed his uncle to the MK Party. (Soyiso Maliti/News24)

He said, since the advent of democracy in 1994, South Africa had benefitted a few and that the MK Party would put an end to that.

MKBM treasurer Khayelihle Madlala added:

We are proud of Jacob Zuma and we want businesses to throw their weight behind him to take the party forward.

He said the party would take KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and other provinces.

The MK Party funders and the party’s “core” are stationed outside the Ntolomane voting station where Zuma will cast his vote.

Ndlovu, who cast his special vote yesterday, told News24 that they were there to drop off Zuma’s daughter, Duduzile, an NEC member.

MK Party core member Omar Pietersen said: “Today is the day that South Africa changes. We’ve been working hard for the past six months – for all South Africans. Today, when we all vote MK, you’re going to see it.” 

*This story has been updated to include that former president Jacob Zuma has cast his vote

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