Jacob Zuma Barred from Contesting in Future Elections

by Ohepo Ohepo

The Independent Electoral Commission has decided that Jacob Zuma, the former president of South Africa, is ineligible to contest in the next elections.

During a press conference, the commission said that it had upheld a protest against Mr Zuma’s candidature for the May 29 elections.

Due to his disobedience of a court order to appear before a judicial commission that was looking into claims of corruption during his administration from 2009 to 2018, Mr. Zuma was sentenced to 15 months in prison in July 2021.

After two months, he was given medical parole and allowed to serve the remainder of his sentence under home arrest.

According to South Africa’s Constitution, a person convicted and sentenced to more than a year in prison, without the possibility of a fine, is not allowed to hold public office.

When Mr. Zuma and his legal team were questioned about broad accusations of corruption during his leadership, including the alleged influence of an Indian family, the Guptas, on his Cabinet appointments, they rushed out of the courtroom.

The 81-year-old’s appeal against the commission’s decision must be filed by April 2.

After he criticised the ruling African National Congress, which he had previously commanded, he became the face of a new political party, uMkhonto weSizwe Party, also abbreviated as MK, which has emerged as a potentially important factor in South Africa’s next elections.

The new party bears the name of the ANC’s former military branch, which was dissolved along with white minority rule and racial segregation laws under the previous apartheid administration.

One of the noteworthy events leading up to the elections was Mr. Zuma’s statement that he was quitting the ANC.

His image appears on the MK Party’s election posters, and he is the front-runner and keynote speaker at their gatherings.

His legal struggle with the ANC has taken him to some of the nation’s highest courts; this week, a court rejected the ANC’s attempt to deregister the MK Party and prevent it from running in the polls, giving the party a victory.

The ANC is suing the MK Party in a different lawsuit because the party’s name and logo are similar to those of the ANC’s previous military branch.

Mr. Zuma was not hurt in the car collision on Thursday, according to local news source News24.

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