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The other reason why Jacob Zuma’s suspension may help the ANC

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The other reason why Jacob Zuma’s suspension may help the ANC

On the surface, Jacob Zuma’s suspension seems to further an already-worrisome divide, but this may actually help the ANC when the election draws to a close.

South Africa’s current ruling party definitely finds itself in a bit of a tough spot leading up to the 2024 general election. Not only has the ANC been dealing with increased friction between all of its different factions for some time.

But, it has also now been challenged by a new political party, which is gaining traction among many of its former and current disgruntled members.

But while some have seen the suspension of the former president Jacob Zuma as further evidence to support the fact that the ANC party is falling apart – this divide may actually help the ANC in the long run.

The real reason for the suspension

Officially, ANC secretary-general, Fikile Mbalula, invoked the 25.60 rule of the party’s constitution, in order to stop the former president from dislodging the ANC’s power and image any further.

However, it is important to note that this suspension also prevents Zuma from participating in any ANC-related activities until a final verdict is reached.

And, as a result, it will certainly free up some time (and eliminate some of the conflict of interest) for Zuma to focus all his attention on growing the new uMkhonto We Sizwe (MK) Party – not to mention all of the additional press that this decision has generated in the last couple of months.

The importance of the MK party

And, while allowing Zuma more time to pursue this new venture may seem counterintuitive, smaller, opposing parties (like the MK Party) ultimately always end up holding a surprising amount of power when it comes to the formation of strategic coalitions later on in the post-election horse-trading.

So, while it may seem like the ANC’s power is being divided among new, smaller parties like the MK Party at first glance – this could actually work out in the ANC’s favour in the end.

The coalition prospect

There is no doubt that Zuma still has incredible political pull, both within the ANC and in an individual capacity, outside of this political party. This includes the KwaZulu-Natal province, in which the ANC saw a drastic decline in votes in the 2019 election.

Ultimately, positioning Zuma as one of the main driving forces behind a seemingly “brand-new” political party should help any party which ultimately forms a coalition with the MK Party  to gain some serious post-election power in the province (and in many others).

The ANC despite its overall expected decline at the 2024 polls inevitably stands to be the greatest beneficiary of such prospects.

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