Zuma cleared to run for parliament in 2024 elections

 ·9 Apr 2024

Former South African President Jacob Zuma won a court bid to overturn his disqualification from running for parliament in next month’s election on the newly formed uMkhonto weSizwe Party’s ticket.

The decision is another setback to the ruling African National Congress’s efforts to stifle support for the so-called MKP, which opinion polls show is gaining popularity ahead of the May 29 vote.

Last month, the ANC lost a court bid to have the MKP deregistered.

An objection to Zuma running as a candidate in the election “is hereby dismissed,” the court said in a ruling handed down on Tuesday.

South Africa’s constitution bars anyone sentenced to more than 12 months in jail from being a member of parliament. Zuma was sentenced to 15 months in prison in 2021 after being found guilty of contempt of court.

The MKP’s lawyers had argued that the Independent Electoral Commission failed to consider that Zuma only served a few weeks of his sentence, and was released on medical parole before benefiting from a remission of sentence and should therefore be allowed to run.

Zuma was forced to resign as president in February 2018 after the ANC elected Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed him as party leader in December 2017.

Zuma, 81, ruled South Africa for nine years that were marred by scandal, including allegations of large-scale corruption and the looting of billions of dollars of state funds. He has denied wrongdoing and hasn’t been indicted on the accusations.

Read: Government hands Zuma a free pass from prison

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