Louis Liebenberg, Zuma Backer, Unveils Independent Election Bid

Louis Liebenberg, a prominent Zuma backer, announces independent candidacy in Gauteng and Free State, aiming to unseat President Ramaphosa. His new party Herbou won't contest current elections, but his campaign adds a new dynamic to South Africa's political landscape.

Israel Ojoko
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Louis Liebenberg, Zuma Backer, Unveils Independent Election Bid

Louis Liebenberg, Zuma Backer, Unveils Independent Election Bid

Louis Liebenberg, a prominent backer of former South African President Jacob Zuma, has announced his plans to run as an independent candidate in the upcoming elections in Gauteng and the Free State provinces.

Liebenberg, a diamond dealer who has given millions of rand to Zuma, unveiled his political campaign in Rosebank, Johannesburg, on Thursday.

In addition to his independent candidacy, Liebenberg also revealed the formation of a new political party called Herbou [Rebuild]. However, the party will not be contesting the current elections. Liebenberg stated that his primary goal is to unseat the current president, Cyril Ramaphosa.

During his campaign launch, Liebenberg emphasized his skills as a salesman, claiming that he can convince people with capital to share their wealth so that both the rich and the poor benefit. He also highlighted his philanthropic efforts, stating that he has provided 2,600 food parcels a day, saved lives, and helped the less fortunate.

Liebenberg distanced himself from the ruling African National Congress (ANC), asserting that he has no connections with the party and has never been involved with the government. He criticized not only the ANC but also the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party, and opposition leader John Steenhuisen.

Why this matters: The entry of Liebenberg, a prominent Zuma supporter, as an independent candidate adds a new dynamic to the South African political landscape. His bid to unseat President Ramaphosa and his criticism of major parties highlight the ongoing tensions and divisions within the country's political arena.

Liebenberg's announcement comes amidst a series of political developments involving former President Jacob Zuma. The MK Party, backed by Zuma, is currently challenging the ANC in Zuma's home province ahead of key elections in May. Zuma himself has faced legal challenges, but the electoral court recently overturned a decision that had barred him from contesting the polls.

As the election campaign unfolds, Liebenberg's independent candidacy and his newly formed Herbou party are likely to attract attention, particularly given his close ties to Zuma and his criticism of the current political establishment. The impact of his entry on voter preferences and the overall election outcome remains to be seen.

Key Takeaways

  • Louis Liebenberg, a Zuma backer, to run as independent in Gauteng, Free State.
  • Liebenberg unveiled new party Herbou, but it won't contest current elections.
  • Liebenberg aims to unseat President Ramaphosa, criticizes major parties like ANC, EFF.
  • Liebenberg's entry adds new dynamic amid Zuma's legal challenges, MK Party's rise.
  • Liebenberg's independent bid and Herbou party likely to attract attention in elections.