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Jacob Zuma Vows to Fight Disqualification from South Africa Election

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Ayize claire

May 24, 2024

Former President Challenges Constitutional Court Ruling Ahead of May 29 Vote

Former South African President Jacob Zuma vows to fight his disqualification from the upcoming parliamentary election after the Constitutional Court ruling. Learn more about the political implications and Zuma's response.
South Africa's former president, Jacob Zuma in courtroom

South Africa's former president, Jacob Zuma, has declared his intention to fight for his rights after the country's top court ruled him ineligible to run for parliament in the upcoming election.


Constitutional Court Ruling

On Monday, the Constitutional Court confirmed that Zuma's 15-month jail sentence for contempt of court in 2021 disqualifies him from participating in the May 29 vote. According to South Africa's constitution, anyone sentenced to 12 months or more in prison is barred from holding a parliamentary seat. Decisions made by the Constitutional Court are final and cannot be overruled.


Zuma's Response

In a YouTube video shared by his uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) party, Zuma expressed his determination to challenge the ruling. "Judges of the Constitutional Court have taken a decision that I can't exercise my freedom, my democracy," Zuma said. "I am going to fight for my rights until this country agrees that freedom must be a complete freedom, not for some and oppression for others."


Impact on Election

Despite the court's decision, Zuma's face will remain on the ballot papers as he is the registered leader of MK. His name, however, will be removed from the list of parliamentary candidates. Zuma endorsed MK in December, distancing himself from the governing African National Congress (ANC), which he led from 2007 to 2017.


Political Background

Zuma resigned as South Africa's president in 2018 under pressure from current ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa's allies. His nine-year tenure was plagued by corruption scandals and economic challenges. In 2021, Zuma's imprisonment sparked riots in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal, resulting in over 300 deaths and widespread looting.


As Zuma continues to contest his disqualification, the upcoming election remains a focal point of political tension in South Africa.


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