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South Africa: Top Court Rules Out Former President Jacob Zuma From Running For Parliamentary Election

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The top court of South Africa decided on Monday that former president Jacob Zuma cannot run for parliament in this month’s election. This decision could affect the result and incite discontent among Zuma’s followers.

Given that the constitution forbids anyone serving a sentence of 12 months or more in prison from holding a parliamentary seat, the constitutional court determined that Zuma’s 15-month jail sentence for contempt of court in 2021 prevented him from standing in the May 29 election.

“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,” its ruling said.

After being forced to resign from office in 2018, Zuma ran for president of the newly created uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) party, which was inspired by the ANC’s armed wing. Zuma has had disagreements with the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

According to opinion polls, the ANC’s majority may be in jeopardy after 30 years in power, and MK poses a threat to it, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal, Zuma’s home province.

More over 300 people died in riots in KwaZulu-Natal in 2021 as a result of Zuma’s imprisonment, which also led to widespread looting.

During an interview with local radio station 702, President Cyril Ramaphosa was asked about the possibility of violence following the constitutional court verdict. He responded, “I’m not concerned about this instigating violence.”

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