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No, video shows May Day rally in Dominican Republic – not supporters of South Africa’s uMkhonto weSizwe Party

IN SHORT: A video doing the rounds on social media in South Africa doesn’t show a crowd of supporters of the newly formed uMkhonto weSizwe Party. It’s a May Day rally held in 2023 in the Dominican Republic.

A video of a large crowd of people in green and black marching down a long avenue is doing the rounds online, with the claim they are supporters of a new contender in South African politics, the uMkhonto weSizwe Party.

The party takes its name from the military wing of the African National Congress (ANC) during the struggle against apartheid. Shortened to MK, uMkhonto weSizwe means “spear of the nation” in isiZulu.

South Africa held its first democratic elections in 1994, which were won by the ANC. The party has since been re-elected every five years. But with the country set to vote again in 2024, opinion polls suggest the ANC may lose its majority for the first time.

On 24 January, the video was posted on TikTok with the words “ANC is out. Viva MK party”.

A week or so later it was posted on X with the caption: “MK IS THE BIGGEST POLITICAL PARTY IN SA CURRENTLY!!!” The post has been viewed more than 91,600 times so far.

It was also uploaded, with the same caption, on YouTube, where it’s had over 28,000 views. The YouTube video has in turn been posted across Facebook, including here, here, here, here and here.

The MK Party was registered with South Africa’s elections commission in September 2023. Debate about who actually owned the name “uMkhonto weSizwe” soon followed.

The confusion continued into December when Jacob Zuma, president of the ANC government from 2009 to 2018, endorsed the MK Party and began to campaign on its behalf. He was quickly expelled from the ANC.

Debate has extended to the party’s logo, which uses a slightly modified version of the original MK emblem of a warrior holding a shield and brandishing a spear, in black, set against a green background.

But does the clip really show MK Party supporters?


Workers’ Day march in the Dominican Republic

The video’s watermark shows it comes from the TikTok account @rolandomarte81, where it was posted on 11 November 2023.

Other videos on the account suggest it’s based in the Dominican Republic, a Spanish-speaking Caribbean country on the island of Hispaniola, neighbouring Haiti.

A Google Lens reverse image search of the first frame of the video led us to another TikTok account from the Dominican Republic. It also brought up a post on X with a longer version of the clip.

Here it’s described as being shot on 1 May 2023 in San Ignacio de Sabaneta, a city in the northwest of the Dominican Republic.



The post’s mentions include Leonel Fernández, a former president of the Dominican Republic, and his opposition political party, Fuerza del Pueblo, which means “power of the people” in Spanish.

It also includes the hashtag #MarchaTrabajadoresFP, which leads to countless X posts about a Fuerza del Pueblo march held on 1 May 2023 in the Dominican Republic. The first day of May is globally recognised as May Day, Labour Day and International Workers’ Day. In Spanish, “marcha” means “march” and “trabajadores” means “workers”.

Many of the posts under the #MarchaTrabajadoresFP hashtag include other videos that clearly show the same scene in the viral clip.

It was shot in the Dominican Republic, not South Africa. The people in green and black are supporters of Fuerza del Pueblo, not the uMkhonto weSizwe Party.

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