‘Join MAC ... if you’re black’

2018-07-27 15:37
Former president Jacob Zuma.

Former president Jacob Zuma. (File)

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No whites or Indians will be allowed to join the newly-formed pro-Zuma political party, leaders of the organisation said on Thursday, and as a result it is unlikely to be registered by the Independent Electoral Commission.

Briefing the media in Durban on Thursday, the party’s top brass, who held a meeting with former president Jacob Zuma before launching their organisation, Mazibuye African Congress (MAC) last week, said only “native blacks” could become members.

“The main objective of the party is to emancipate native blacks – you can’t invite the very same people who have been part of the white colonial system to be part of the solution to the problems currently faced by the majority of native blacks as a result of colonialism,” said MAC president Reggie Ngcobo.

However, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said it would decline to register the MAC as a political party should the electoral body find that the new organisation’s membership policy discriminated on the grounds of race.

“The Electoral Act makes it clear that the Chief Electoral Officer may not register a party that propagates hatred or segregation on the grounds of race,” IEC chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo said.

Ngcobo denied that the new party’s policy was racist.

Flanked by his lieutenants, who include former North West province Democratic Alliance (DA) member Romeo Matjila – who was introduced as the party’s secretary-general, Ngcobo said Zuma had “imparted valuable knowledge” during their meeting.

“We asked for a meeting with all former presidents, including F.W. de Klerk and Thabo Mbeki. They both were not available. However, Zuma was able to set aside time to meet us and share his views on the current political climate,” he said.

Ngcobo and the other MAC leaders grabbed media headlines in May when they announced plans to launch a political party that would support Zuma while at the same time agitating for “economic liberation” of black people in the country.

“It is a fact that the current government has no intention to liberate black people who had been oppressed for so many years. This political party will ensure that we liberate ourselves,” Ngcobo said.

While the MAC will officially launch its manifesto in September, Ngcobo said the new party believed in land expropriation without compensation and the return of “stolen land” to traditional leaders.

Ngcobo dismissed speculation that Zuma, who is facing corruption charges in connection with his involvement in the arms deal in the 90s, was the brains behind the party. “Former president Zuma made it clear to us that he remains a member of another party,” he said.

A former convener of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in KwaZulu-Natal, Ngcobo said the MAC would contest next year’s elections and was currently searching for funders.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  jacob zuma

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