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South Africa prime court docket hears case questioning Zuma’s electoral eligibility | Elections Information

South Africa prime court docket hears case questioning Zuma’s electoral eligibility | Elections Information


Ex-president could possibly be disqualified from working in essentially the most aggressive polls in post-apartheid historical past on Could 29.

South Africa’s Constitutional Court docket will resolve on an enchantment questioning former President Jacob Zuma’s eligibility to run on this month’s election, a race that would tilt the steadiness of the parliament and decide the nation’s subsequent chief.

The court docket in Johannesburg is on Friday listening to the enchantment filed by the nation’s election physique after a decrease court docket dominated that Zuma might run for workplace.

Earlier, the Impartial Electoral Fee (IEC), barred Zuma from contesting the Could 29 polls.

Zuma, 82, is fronting a brand new opposition occasion that has develop into a possible disrupter within the common election.

Whereas his occasion, uMkhonto weSizwe (MK), is just not anticipated to win sufficient votes to return the previous chief to the presidency, it might minimize into the vote share of the dominant governing African Nationwide Congress (ANC) occasion, and decide who would be the nation’s subsequent chief.

Within the South African structure, the president is elected by members of parliament.

The IEC had argued that the corruption-tainted politician needs to be barred from the race due to a 2021 contempt of court docket conviction.

Risk of violence

The eligibility case towards Zuma revolves across the interpretation of a constitutional norm barring anybody sentenced to greater than 12 months’ imprisonment from serving in parliament.

The ban lapses 5 years after the sentence is accomplished.

The IEC argued the supply applies to Zuma. However Zuma’s attorneys stated it doesn’t apply to the previous chief, as a result of his sentence was shortened.

Now it’s as much as the Constitutional Court docket to resolve on the case, which consultants say might take days.

The highest court docket is identical physique that in 2021 sentenced Zuma to fifteen months in jail after he refused to testify to a panel investigating monetary corruption and cronyism throughout his presidency. The top of that panel is now the court docket’s chief justice.

Of their filings, Zuma’s attorneys argued that he and one other 5 judges who sat on the bench that convicted their shopper ought to recuse themselves as “tainted by bias”.

Had been that to occur, the court docket wouldn’t have sufficient members left to listen to the case.

Coming solely weeks earlier than what is predicted to be essentially the most aggressive vote for the reason that creation of democracy in 1994, the case has made some observers nervous.

Zuma’s jailing in 2021 triggered a wave of unrest, riots and looting that left greater than 350 folks lifeless.

There are fears, nonetheless, of a repeat of the violence, with supporters of the previous chief accusing the court docket of being partisan.

“Zuma’s supporters have threatened violence once more this yr ought to issues not go their manner,” Zakhele Ndlovu, a politics lecturer on the College of KwaZulu-Natal, advised the AFP information company.

Other than the disqualification case, Zuma’s MK occasion can be underneath police investigation over allegations that it solid supporters’ signatures to register for the upcoming nationwide elections.

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Written by bourbiza mohamed

Bourbiza Mohamed is a freelance journalist and political science analyst holding a Master's degree in Political Science. Armed with a sharp pen and a discerning eye, Bourbiza Mohamed contributes to various renowned sites, delivering incisive insights on current political and social issues. His experience translates into thought-provoking articles that spur dialogue and reflection.

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