South Africa: Jacob Zuma is not taking part in the next presidential election, according to the IEC

The Independent Electoral Commission, during a press briefing on Thursday, January 25, 2024, declared former President Jacob Zuma ineligible, citing the constitution regarding individuals eligible for political office. «This excludes anyone who has received a sentence that has not been suspended, and in this sense, the country’s laws would be a barrier to this candidacy», explained the Chairperson of the IEC, Janet Love.

The former South African President was convicted of contempt of court in 2021 for his refusal to testify before the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into State Capture. He was sentenced to 15 months.

After being released on medical grounds, Zuma (81 years old) received a medical parole last year.

Last month, Zuma launched the new party «Umkhonto weSizwe» (MK) ahead of the 2024 general elections, stating that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) had «departed from its fundamental values».

The former president is campaigning for the new MK party, considered by many as a dissident faction of the ANC.

However, since becoming the face of his new political party and actively campaigning, many have pointed out to his supporters that his legal troubles disqualify him from returning to political office.

Jacob Zuma currently faces 16 charges of fraud, corruption, and racketeering related to a 4.2 billion euros deal for the purchase of fighter jets, patrol boats, and military equipment.

Arms manufacturer Thales has also been charged over allegations of a 4 million Rands (around 235,000 euros) bribe payment to Zuma.

In South Africa, since the establishment of the Republic in 1961, the head of state is elected by members of Parliament.

From 1984 to 1994, the president was elected by an electoral college composed of members of the majority party in each house of Parliament.

However, since 1994, the President is elected by members of the National Assembly.




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