New pro-Zuma party will leave no stone, king or wallet unturned
With its eyes set on its black constituency, Mazibuye African Congress is determined to do well in next year’s election
A newly-launched political party – formed after consultations with former president Jacob Zuma – has a simple strategy for next year’s election: focus on only black people as its core constituency.
Whites and Indians are barred from joining the party, which is guided by amakhosi, taxi operators, traditional healers and prophets.
Welcome to the new kid on the South African political landscape – the Mazibuye African Congress.
The party, which is determined to do well in next year’s vote, was formed by former ANC member turned EFF activist Reggie Ngcobo, among others.
Ngcobo, who is the party’s president, told a media briefing in Durban on Thursday that Mazibuye would register with the Independent Electoral Commission to contest next year’s elections.
He said their election strategy was simple.“We are just native people speaking to native people. We will revolve around that axis,” he said.
Ngcobo continued: “We cannot promise people some free things and big things that they have been promised since 1994. We owe our existence to amakhosi, traditional healers, taxi owners, unemployed youth and faith-based organisations. They are the one who will guide us.”
The party, which claims to have membership across all the country’s provinces except for the Northern Cape, is planning a massive manifesto launch around September 30. It will be hosted in North West.
But a lack of funds could prove to be a stumbling block for the new party, which openly admitted that it did not have money.
Ironically, the party has appealed to whites and Indians to assist them with funding.
“We’re appealing to our native brothers and sisters who have something in their reserves to throw in something to Mazibuye, because it’s not only for themselves or ourselves but it’s for everyone who is a native child.“It will be a hard task for us to achieve but we are hopeful that there a good black Samaritans out there who will support us. And even the whites and Indians can give us money. But they must know that we are pursuing the native agenda,” said Ngcobo.
The party said it was only Zuma who had “graced us with his warm presence and fatherly lectured us on various socio-political issues”.
These, they say, included his vision for South Africa, BRICS, free education, massive ARV rollouts and his government attempt to withdraw its membership in “colonial institutions” like the International Criminal Court.
Former presidents Thabo Mbeki and FW de Klerk spurned the party’s requests for their blessings. Mbeki’s office said he was too busy to afford them at least 30 minutes of his time, while De Klerk told them he had retired from politics.
The party is still trying to meet with Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini and other kings.
Mazibuye said that, among other things, it was championing the establishment of a royal arm of the state, expropriation of land without compensation, decolonised free education and the implementation of African native indigenous systems.
But its critics have described it as a confused, tribal and populist party.
Ngcobo lashed out at those who have led that criticism – even though he admitted Mazibuye was confused.
“I don’t think we are not confused. Yes, we’re confused. It’s not a sane person who can’t be confused in a country like this where everything is going up, where progress is being taken back. So we are equally confused, like everyone who exists in this country.
“But in the midst of that confusion, we’re saying we will swim through that confusion and try to find solutions.”
Political analyst Protas Madlala described the Mazibuye leadership as populists who would not go anywhere politically.“These are populists, which is not going to work. Even the EFF does not want whites and Indians, but there are few of them in the party. To go public and say you don’t want whites and Indians, who is going to fund you? What niche do they have that is not being brought by other political parties. What are you going to do for amakhosi and taxi people?
“I am not happy with their defining of a target group. You need to convince people what you are going to offer them. What do you have for the youth? The South African political space does not allow a new political party. Already we have got too many parties. So they will remain just what they are. People view new political parties with suspicion,” said Madlala.