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No, South African singer Lira has not joined or endorsed newly formed political party uMkhonto weSizwe

IN SHORT: Some social media posts claim that South African singer Lira has publicly endorsed or joined the new political party uMkhonto weSizwe. She has denied the claims and says she has no affiliation with the MK Party.

South Africa will hold national elections on 29 May 2024. In the run-up to these elections, the newly formed uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MK Party or MKP) has attracted much attention.

Several social media posts claim that South African singer Lerato Molapo, popularly known as Lira, has endorsed or become a member of the MK Party.


What is the MK Party?

The MK Party was registered in September 2023.

In December, former South African president Jacob Zuma publicly endorsed the MK Party. The move led to his suspension from his lifelong party, the African National Congress (ANC), in January. Zuma led the ANC from 2007 to 2017, and served as the country’s president from 2009 until his resignation in 2018.

The new party is named after uMkhonto weSizwe (MK), the armed wing of the ANC in its struggle against apartheid. It means “spear of the nation” in isiZulu. 

The ANC has challenged the MK Party’s use of this name, as well as other imagery associated with the historic uMkhonto weSizwe.

But has the new party received the backing of the award-winning singer? We checked.

Widely shared video not of Lira

Some posts on Facebook include a video originally posted on TikTok by an account with the handle “@mk.youth.league”. It is not clear whether this account is officially linked to the MK Party.

In the video, a woman declares that her “blood is green”, the MK Party’s colour, and says that she “will vote MK” in the upcoming election. However, the text in the video and the caption on the original TikTok post identify her as actress Londiwe Ngcamu.

Despite this, posts such as this one on Facebook and a now-deleted YouTube video used the clip to claim that Lira had joined the MK Party. Although the YouTube video cannot be viewed, the title “LIRA join MK” and a thumbnail of the TikTok video can still be seen in posts that have shared it.

Lira has distanced herself from the MK Party. “I wish to confirm that I have no affiliation with MK Party. I have not endorsed them or become an MKP member,” she said on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.  

As examples of what she called “fake news”, the singer posted screenshots of a now-deleted tweet and the “LIRA join MK” YouTube video.

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