MK party suffers as Zuma relies on African time 

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By Zukile Majova
Political Editor

Jacob Zuma called a media briefing on Friday with a specific requirement for punctuality from the reporters – then he kept them waiting for over three hours on Sunday.

The Umkhonto Wesizwe party media invite said reporters should arrive for the briefing at least 30 minutes early to allow for Zuma’s security detail to do a clean sweep of the room.

So serious are they about Zuma’s security that the venue of the media briefing was not revealed.

Upon confirmation on Sunday morning the media was told the press conference would be held at The Capital on the Park in Sandton.

When Zuma failed to show up on time, his daughter Duduzile Zuma-Sambudla tweeted a statement saying Msholozi was delayed because he was attending a church service in Pretoria.

The comedy of events on Sunday is unfortunately not isolated as the MK party lost its chance to govern in KwaZulu-Natal because uBaba (as Zuma is referred to in the party) was not answering his phone.

ANC secretary general Fikile Mbalula said it was difficult to negotiate with the MK because all decision-making relied on one man who was not reachable at critical moments of the negotiations.

“It’s been very difficult to engage with the MK Party. We’ve tried to reach out, but we’ve drawn blanks. It depends on the outcome of this meeting whether we’ll still meet with them. We’ve said we’re open to talking to everybody, including the MK Party.”

The Zuma party was a shoe-in at running KZN having won 45.9% of the votes in the province.

Last week, with all the main political parties negotiating in hung provinces, IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa said they agreed to a meeting with the MK party.

The main IFP delegation waited for over two hours and left but IFP MP Mkhuleko Hlengwa remained behind and waited another two hours and uBaba and the MK delegation still did not arrive.

A day before the first sitting of the KZN legislature, Zuma was still meeting NFP leader Irvin Barnes who had already committed the party’s one seat in the legislature to the IFP-led coalition of the ANC, DA and NFP.

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