May 20, 2024

Zuma is not going to Parliament

Former President Jacob Zuma's woes continues
Photo:MK Party

Constitutional Court has ruled that former president Jacob Zuma is not eligible to stand for office in the National Assembly. Zuma is the leader and the face of the newly formed Umkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) which hosted its first manifesto on Saturday at Orlando Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg.


The ConCourt ruled that Zuma's 15-month prison sentence for contempt of court disqualified him. The IEC disqualified Zuma on the basis that the Constitution prohibits anyone given a prison sentence of 12 months or longer from holding a parliamentary seat. Zuma argued that the ultimate sentence against him is effectively three months due to a remission. "This court concludes that Mr Zuma was convicted of an offence and sentenced to more than 12 months imprisonment for the purposes of Section 47(1e) of the Constitution and is accordingly not eligible to be a member of, and not qualified to stand for election to the National Assembly until five years have elapsed since the completion of the sentence," ruled Justice Leona Theron.


Last month, the Electoral Court overturned the IEC's decision to prohibit Zuma from contesting in the elections because of his criminal record. Zuma had taken the IEC to court to appeal their decision to bar him from contesting the elections. The Commision also removed him from the MK Party's candidate list as per Section 47 of the Constitution which states that any person who is convicted of an offence and sentenced to more than 12 months' imprisonment without the option of a fine is disqualified from standing for public office. Zuma was sentenced to 15 months in prison in 2021 by the Constitutional Court for contempt after refusing to testify at a judicial inquiry into government corruption. Prominent members of the MKP have vowed to make the country to be ungovernable if Zuma is disqualified from representing the organisation.

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