South Africa’s ANC loses another court case against rival party led by former president Zuma

South Africa’s ANC loses another court case against rival party led by former president Zuma

By Associated Press

CAPE TOWN: South Africa’s ruling African National Congress lost a second court case against a new rival party fronted by former President Jacob Zuma on Monday.

A judge in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in the eastern city of Durban dismissed the ANC’s case alleging copyright infringement against the MK Party for using a name and a logo the ANC claims ownership of.

The MK Party was formed late last year and was given added importance ahead of a national election in May when former ANC leader Zuma joined.

MK takes its full name — uMkhonto weSizwe — from the now-disbanded military wing set up by the ANC and Nelson Mandela in the 1960s. The MK Party’s logo showing a man holding a spear and a shield is similar to the old military wing’s logo.

The ANC’s request for payment in the form of royalties or damages from MK was rejected.

The ANC has governed South Africa for 30 years since the first democratic elections following the end of the apartheid system of racial segregation in 1994. But it is under increasing pressure from voters over the country’s deep problems, which include record levels of unemployment, worsening poverty, high rates of violent crime, government corruption and an electricity crisis.

Analysts say the ANC will likely lose its majority for the first time in the May 29 election. Zuma’s MK Party is among a group of challengers expected to erode its vote.

The ANC lost another case against MK and the national electoral body last month after claiming the new party was not properly registered and should be disqualified from the election. That case was dismissed by a separate court.

Zuma, 82, has made a contentious return to politics since losing the support of the ANC and being forced to step down as president of Africa’s most advanced economy in 2018 amid allegations of corruption.

He was initially barred from standing as a candidate in this year’s election because of his criminal record for a contempt of court conviction in 2021, but he won an appeal against that. He is also currently on trial for corruption, although that case has been bogged down in delays for two years.