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The ANC in eThekwini has acknowledged the rising influence of the Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) party within its branches, a development it had initially denied.

Last week, in response to the surge of support for the MK party, which is backed by former President Jacob Zuma, the ANC in eThekwini instructed its branches to compile reports detailing the impact of the new party on its members.

The party now concedes that the preliminary reports from branches indicate minimal impact, with only a few members leaving the ANC for MK.

Mlondi Mkhize, the ANC regional spokesperson, revealed that while branches were given until Wednesday to submit assessment reports, the preliminary findings show no significant shift, except for a small number of members who have joined the MK party.

Mkhize expressed concern over the few members who left but emphasized satisfaction that the majority of their branches remained intact, with no executive members defecting to the new party.

“We are pleased that the new party has not significantly affected our membership, although we are concerned about those who have joined. We believe that many individuals seen on social platforms associated with the party are either from other political affiliations or are not linked to any party,” said Mkhize.

He acknowledged the potential impact on voters who might have previously supported the ANC and emphasized the need to engage with these members to prevent further defections.

In response to the MK party’s activities, the ANC directed its branches to submit reports on members joining or mobilizing for MK. The template issued by eThekwini regional secretary Musa Nciki also requested monitoring of alliance partners, particularly the SA National Civil Organization (Sanco).

The ANC sought information on influential figures within its branches supporting the MK party, expressing concerns about members associating with MK while remaining ANC cardholders.

Critics, however, argue that the ANC unfairly targets Sanco members with this directive, given the party’s reluctance to take action against Zuma for leaving the ANC while maintaining his leadership position in Sanco.

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Despite Zuma’s endorsement of the MK party and its recent activities in Umlazi and KwaMashu, no senior ANC members have officially joined the new party. Zuma is expected to leverage his position as KwaZulu-Natal Sanco chairperson to rally support for MK.

While the MK party claims to have recruited over three million members, it has yet to unveil its leadership structures. A Sanco member in eThekwini acknowledged dissatisfaction among ANC members in her branch, who had crossed to MK due to grievances similar to those of Zuma.

Despite this, she affirmed Sanco’s commitment to campaign for the ANC, in line with their last conference where Zuma was elected as the chairperson of Sanco in KwaZulu-Natal.

Sanco KwaZulu-Natal deputy chairperson Lawrence Dube reassured that Sanco in the province remains fully supportive of the ANC.

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