JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Former South African president Jacob Zuma said he will not campaign for the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party in the 2024 general election and will vote for a new party, a sign of growing divisions within the ANC ahead of the vote.
Zuma, who said he remained an ANC member, has previously lashed out at his successor Cyril Ramaphosa, accusing him of failing as a leader and betraying the ANC with his stance against corruption.
On Saturday Zuma repeated the accusations, and cited among other issues the expulsion from the party of its former secretary general after he was found guilty of violating the party’s constitution.
“The ANC I know was never focused more on expelling members without implementing proper processes to establish if such action was appropriate,” Zuma told journalists as he also cited rolling power cuts as a sign of economic mismanagement by Ramaphosa’s government.
“I have decided that I cannot and will not campaign for the ANC of Ramaphosa in 2024. My conscience will not allow me to lie to the people of South Africa,” Zuma said.
He added that even though he has decided to vote for newly formed Umkhonto We Sizwe (MK) party he “will die a member of the ANC.”
The ANC’s spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment.
The election is due between May and August 2024 and after a reign marred by graft and economic decline, the ANC risks losing its parliamentary majority for the first time since it came into power in 1994.
(Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; editing by Clelia Oziel)