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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

ANC slams threats of ‘anarchy and riots’ if MK Party fails to qualify for election ballot

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The African National Party (ANC) has slammed threats of violence made by uMkhonto Wesizwe Party (MKP) affiliate, Visvin Reddy.

The governing party was responding to a video shared on X (formerly Twitter) in which Reddy, African Democratic Change leader who has now aligned with the MK Party, can be heard threatening violence if the MKP is not on the May 29 elections ballot sheets.

“We are sending a loud and clear message, if these courts which are sometimes captured, if they stop MK, there will be anarchy in this country. There will be riots like you have never seen in this country. There will be no elections.

“No South African will go to the polls if MKP is not on the ballot,” the former Minority Front, ANC and Democratic Alliance member said.

Threats to democracy

In a statement on Wednesday, ANC national spokesperson, Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri, said the threats undermine the foundations of democracy.

“The threats of anarchy, riots, and the disruption of elections are not only reckless but also pose a direct threat to the institutions of democracy and the people of South Africa.

“Such inflammatory rhetoric has no place in our democratic society and runs counter to the principles of peaceful coexistence and respect for the rule of law,” she said.

Reddy U-turn

Reddy has since recanted on his earlier comments, adding that he didn’t want his sentiments to get blown out of proportion.

He said there needed to be an understanding of the amount of power Zuma yields in the country, in particular the role his arrest played in the July 2021 riots experienced in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng.

“I knew then, as I do now, the influence that President Zuma has over the majority of people in this country. ANC members look up to Zuma and the ANC in particular must be aware of what they are playing with.

“So if there’s violence and rioting, they will have themselves to blame. They’re playing cheap political games to get rid of MK from the ballot paper because it has become a real threat to them,” Reddy said.

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There has been no loved lost between the ANC and the new political party which is locked in a legal tussle over the use of the name and trademark, uMkhonto WeSizwe.

The Mercury reported that the ANC’s legal bid over the uMkhonto weSizwe trademark following the registration of the party is set to be heard on March 19 at the Electoral Court in Bloemfontein.

The ANC’s legal dispute centres on the use of the logo and trademark. The ANC has argued that the use of the name and likeness of their apartheid-era military wing, may lead the public to believe that the MKP is aligned and connected to the governing party.

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