• en

Former South African President Jacob Zuma Barred From Running In General Election

Ex-South African President Zuma’s political party says it will challenge the ban stopping him from running in May’s general election.

South Africa’s former President, Jacob Zuma, has been disqualified from contesting in the upcoming general election scheduled for May, as announced by the country’s electoral commission, the IEC.

The commission did not provide a specific reason for the disqualification, but it is widely speculated that Zuma’s 2021 conviction and subsequent imprisonment for contempt of court have rendered him ineligible for candidacy.

Zuma’s involvement with the newly formed uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) party, which he backs, has been viewed as a potential challenge to the ruling African National Congress (ANC), of which he was previously a member until his suspension.

Despite efforts by the ANC to have the MK party deregistered, the request was rejected by the electoral commission on Tuesday.

The 81-year-old Zuma served as South Africa’s president from 2009 to 2018, but his tenure was marred by corruption allegations, leading to his resignation. His recent involvement in politics through the MK party has faced hurdles, with objections raised against his candidacy for the National Assembly.

“In the case of former President Zuma, yes, we did receive an objection, which has been upheld,” stated electoral commission head Mosotho Moepya, addressing journalists. Where he also said that Zuma’s party has been informed of this development.

Zuma’s legal team has until April 2nd to appeal the decision, while the MK party has expressed intentions to challenge the ruling.

The former president’s disqualification stems not only from his contempt of court conviction but also from facing charges of corruption related to a multi-billion-dollar arms deal from the 1990s, during his tenure as vice-president.

Despite Zuma’s setback, the IEC clarified that the ruling does not impede the MK party from participating in the forthcoming elections. With opinion polls suggesting a potential decline in the ANC’s vote share, Zuma’s influence, particularly in his home region of KwaZulu-Natal, remains a significant factor in South African politics.

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

Follow us on: