May 20, 2024

South Africa: Jacob Zuma Barred From Running for Parliament

The Constitutional Court in South Africa has prohibited former President, Jacob Zuma, from running for parliament in next week’s national and provincial elections.

The ruling – which occurred today, Monday 20 May – was based on the 82-year-old politician’s 15-month prison sentence in 2021 for contempt of court after he refused to testify at an inquiry investigating corruption during his presidency.

As such, he has been disqualified from standing in the elections on Wednesday, 19 May.

“It is declared that Mr Zuma was convicted of an offence and sentenced to more than 12 months’ imprisonment … and is accordingly not eligible to be a member of, and not qualified to stand for election to, the National Assembly,” the court announced in its ruling.

Zuma – who was president of South Africa from 2009 to 2018 under the African National Congress (ANC) party – has been campaigning in the 2024 elections for a new party called uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK).

MK secretary-general, Sihle Ngubane, has made it clear that despite the ruling, Zuma’s face will remain on the ballot paper to represent the party.

As of yet, Zuma has not publicly commented on the ruling.

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