The party of former leader Zuma says it will join the opposition in South Africa’s parliament

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (Reuters) – South Africa’s uMkhonto we Sizwe party (MK) will join an opposition alliance in parliament to challenge the African National Congress-led Democratic Alliance coalition government. The announcement was made on Sunday.

The ANC, and its biggest rival, the white led, pro-business Democratic Alliance (DA), agreed to work together on Friday in a coalition they called “governments of national unity”. This is a major change after 30 years under ANC rule.

The unity government will also include two smaller parties: the conservative Inkatha Freedom Party and the right-wing Patriotic Alliance.

uMkhonto we Sizwe, the party of former president Jacob Zuma, came in a surprising strong third place in the 29th May election that saw the ANC losing its majority. MK received 14.6% of votes, which translated to 58 seats in a 400-seat National Assembly.

MK legislators boycotted Friday’s first National Assembly session after filing a complaint with the top court of the country alleging voter fraud, which was dismissed by the court as unfounded.

Nhlamulo Ndhlela, the MK spokesperson, told reporters that his party would join the “Progressive Caucus” which also includes the Marxist Economic Freedom Fighters and the centre-left United Democratic Movement.

Ndhlela, who was sitting with Zuma and leaders of several small parties, said that this alliance controls close to 30% seats in the National Assembly.

He said: “This united effort was necessary because the election of 2024 has resulted in a consolidation of right-wing reactionary forces that are against economic freedom, radical transformation, racial equalities and land repossession.”

Ndhlela stated that MK decided to take its seats in National Assembly following legal advice. It would continue to bring up allegations of a rigged election in parliament and courts.

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