SAfrica: Zuma’s Ally Nathi Nhleko Resigns from Governing ANC Amid Election Turmoil

Nathi Nhleko, a former senior government official in South Africa, has parted ways with the ruling African National Congress (ANC) while launching a scathing attack on the party. Nhleko lamented witnessing the transformation of the ANC into an entity he no longer identifies with, accusing it of implementing austerity measures and dismantling state-owned enterprises. His close ties with the embattled former President Jacob Zuma have drawn attention, particularly after the ANC suspended Zuma earlier this year for supporting a rival faction.


Nhleko’s resignation was met with a dismissive response from an ANC official, who welcomed his departure. Although Nhleko’s future political affiliation remains uncertain, his resignation letter echoed sentiments similar to those expressed by Zuma when he endorsed the new uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) party in December. This party, named after the ANC’s former armed wing, is being championed by Zuma ahead of the upcoming general election on May 29.


Nhleko’s political career was marked by controversy, notably his defense of the use of government funds to upgrade Zuma’s private residence in Nkandla, a move widely criticized and ridiculed. His resignation signals disillusionment with the direction of the ANC. Among the reasons behind the move are economic sector control favoring the white-dominated private sector and cuts to social spending. ANC officials dismissed Nhleko’s departure, with one labeling it long overdue, citing his past controversies.