South Africa’s Top Court Rules Former President Zuma Cannot Stand In Election Over Criminal Conviction


South Africa’s Constitutional Court has rendered a significant decision by disqualifying former President Jacob Zuma from participating in the upcoming national election due to his prior criminal conviction. The ruling, issued on Monday, carries political implications as it restricts Zuma’s eligibility to stand for office, sparking tensions ahead of the pivotal vote.

The court invoked a constitutional provision barring individuals sentenced to more than 12 months in prison without the option of a fine from contesting elections, a criterion that applies to the 82-year-old Zuma. His conviction stems from a 2021 sentence of 15 months in prison for contempt of court, following his refusal to testify at a judicial inquiry into government corruption.

The controversy surrounding Zuma’s candidacy arose due to his inability to appeal the court’s contempt ruling, which initially led to his disqualification by the Independent Electoral Committee. However, an appeal to the Electoral Court temporarily reinstated his eligibility, arguing that without appeal options, the disqualification did not apply. This decision was overturned by the Constitutional Court, affirming Zuma’s ineligibility for parliamentary candidacy for five years following the completion of his sentence.

Zuma, who served as South African president from 2009 to 2018 before resigning amid corruption allegations, has since re-entered politics with a new party, the MK Party, criticizing the ruling African National Congress (ANC), which he once led. His return to the political arena has the potential to impact the ANC’s voter base, given his continued popularity in certain regions of the country.

Additionally, Zuma’s disqualification foils a contentious return to Parliament, where he faced allegations of widespread government corruption during his presidency. Despite his legal challenges, Zuma remains embroiled in corruption charges in a separate case, slated for trial in April of the following year, maintaining his plea of not guilty.

In essence, the Constitutional Court’s ruling prevents former President Zuma from participating in the upcoming national election due to his criminal conviction, underscoring the legal and political complexities surrounding his candidacy. The decision marks a significant development in South Africa’s political landscape and highlights ongoing tensions within the country’s political sphere.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial