EFF MK Party

Former President Jacob Zuma and Julius Malema in 2021.
Image: X/EFF

‘We are not threatened by MK Party’: EFF on election results so far

The Jacob Zuma-led MK Party has overtaken Julius Malema’s EFF as the third biggest political party as vote counting progresses.

EFF MK Party

Former President Jacob Zuma and Julius Malema in 2021.
Image: X/EFF

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) says it is not threatened by former President Jacob Zuma’s uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party as vote counting for the 2024 General Elections is almost done.

EFF Head of Presidency Vuyani Pambo said this on Friday, as he visited the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) National Results Operation Centre in Midrand.

WHY WOULD THE EFF BE THREATENED BY THE MK PARTY?

In the 2019 elections the EFF became the third biggest political party in South Africa (based on the number seats in the National Assembly). The party 10.8% votes.

Many political analysts had predicted that support for the EFF, Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the African National Congress (ANC) will decline because of the formation of the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party, especially in KwaZulu-Natal.

Fast forward to 2024 the MK Party has seemingly overtaken the EFF as vote counting progresses. As of Saturday morning, 1 June, the ANC continues to lead with over 6 million votes followed by the DA with over 3 million votes. The MK Party is in third place with over 2 million votes and the EFF is in fourth place with just over 1.4 million votes.

Addressing the media on Friday, EFF’s Pambo said the MK Party is a new kid on the block and they are not threatened by anyone.

“All we need to do is make sure is that we serve our people. What we must make sure going forward is that whatever government comes into power they are aligned with the seven cardinal pillars of the EFF,” he said.

As vote counting progresses, there seemingly is no outright winner for these elections. In order to govern, a political party needs 50% +1. So far, the ANC is at 42% and this means it would need other political parties in order to govern.

Regarding possible coalition partners, Pambo said they are not going into a coalition but rather a relationship with anyone who agrees with the seven non-negotiable cardinal pillars of the EFF.

All the metro municipalities in Gauteng which is South Africa’s economic hub and other municipalities are governed through coalition and the EFF is a partner in all the coalitions.

AN ETHNIC IDENTITY VOTE?

In addition, Pambo also questioned why people voted for a political party that does not have policies. Zuma’s party does not have policies.

Speaking at the Results Operation Centre in Midrand, Helen Zille said the Jacob Zuma-led party is eating away votes from all parties, least of all the DA. 

“So, this is an ethnic identity vote and it mobilises across a particular ethnic identity group very powerfully. We’ve seen it in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, and we’ve seen it to some extent in Gauteng,” she said. 

Furthermore, Zille also emphasised that ethnic tribalism voting is not good for South Africa’s constitutional democracy.

‌The former Western Cape Premier said it means people aren’t voting on principles, values or policies. However, ‘they are voting on ‘this is my identity,’ and in a democracy you need people to take values and principles, party manifestos, policy and governance track records seriously.”

MK Party EFF
The EFF says it is not threatened by the MK Party nor the ANC as vote counting progresses. Source: IEC

HERE’S WHAT THE PARTY SAID BEFORE THE ELECTIONS

Before the elections EFF Deputy President Floyd Shivambu said the party has grown in many regions across the country. 

Shivambu said the party would have a proportionally well-represented growth in all the country’s nine provinces. He doesn’t see the party’s support declining based on the votes they received in the 2019 elections

“I don’t see any province declining in the work that we have recorded thus far, which will grow by less than 100% compared to 2019,” he said at the time. 

Additionally, Shivambu said that based on audits conducted by the IEC, they were the only party growing and represented countrywide in all the voting districts.