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Zuma suspended from South Africa’s ruling ANC

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Jacob Zuma South Africas President

South Africa’s ruling political party, the African National Congress (ANC), suspended the country’s former president Jacob Zuma on Monday and vowed to launch a legal challenge against a rival group campaigning in his name.

Announcing the decision, ANC Secretary General Fikile Mbalula stated “Zuma and others whose conduct conflicts with our values and principles will find themselves outside the African National Congress.”

The widely expected decision will be interpreted as additional evidence of a split in the movement ahead of this year’s national election, in which the long-dominant ANC is likely to lose support.

Zuma served as the fourth president of democratic South Africa from 2009 to 2018, but he was forced to resign due to corruption charges, and he has since grown estranged from the party he previously commanded.

In December, Zuma announced that he would be campaigning for a new party, uMkhonto We Sizwe (MK), or Spear of the Nation, named after the ANC’s former armed wing during the anti-apartheid struggle.

Mbalula stated that, in addition to suspending Zuma, the ANC may file a complaint with the electoral court to have the new party deregistered and launch a trademark lawsuit to reclaim the name.

“The formation of the MK party is not an accident,” Mbalula declared after a meeting of the party’s National Executive Committee, attended by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“It is a deliberate attempt to use the proud history of the armed struggle against the apartheid regime to lend credibility to what is a blatantly counter-revolutionary agenda.”

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