South African court rules out Zuma for parliament’s race

South Africa’s Constitutional Court, on Monday, barred former President Jacob Zuma from running for parliament in next week’s general election.

The court stated that Zuma’s 15-month jail sentence for contempt of court in 2021 disqualifies him from standing in the May 29 election. The ruling is likely to increase political tension ahead of the pivotal vote.

The ruling is based on South Africa’s constitution, which prohibits anyone given a prison sentence of 12 months or more from holding a parliamentary seat.

“It is declared that Mr Zuma was convicted of an offence and sentenced to more than 12 months’ imprisonment … and is accordingly not eligible to be a member of, and not qualified to stand for election to, the National Assembly,” the court said.

Zuma, 82, was forced to quit as president in 2018 over corruption allegations. He has in recent times fallen out with the governing African National Congress (ANC).

He now identifies with and currently campaigning for a new party, uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) party.

Opinion polls suggest the ANC’s majority is at risk after 30 years in power, and the MK presents a threat, especially in Zuma’s home province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), where he remains popular.



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