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South African Court Allows Former Leader Jacob Zuma Run in Election

Former South African President Jacob Zuma is cleared to run in May’s general election despite past conviction.

Jacob Zuma

South Africa’s Electoral Court on Tuesday reversed its decision, allowing former President Jacob Zuma to run for office in the upcoming election. 

This ruling overturns an earlier decision barring him from contesting due to his criminal record. 

Zuma plans to represent the uMkhonto weSizwe Party after leaving the ruling African National Congress which he formerly headed.

The Independent Electoral Commission initially rejected his candidacy due to his conviction in 2021 for defying a court order. 

Under South Africa’s constitution, individuals convicted of a crime and receiving a prison sentence exceeding 12 months without the possibility of a fine are ineligible to run for legislative positions.

Zuma, sentenced to 15 months in prison in 2021 for disobeying a court directive to testify before a corruption investigation panel probing allegations within government and state-owned companies during his tenure as president from 2009 to 2018, falls under this category.

However, the court’s latest decision dismisses objections against his candidacy, permitting him to stand for election.

Melissa Enoch

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