HomeTop StoriesSouth Africa's highest court hears Zuma's election challenge

South Africa’s highest court hears Zuma’s election challenge

South Africa’s highest court is hearing the decision to admit the former president Jacob Zuma to participate in this month’s elections.

The electoral body initially expelled Mr Zuma over his conviction for contempt of court.

That ruling was overturned on appeal, prompting the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to refer the case to the Constitutional Court.

Zuma leads the newly formed uMkonto weSizwe (MK) party, which is challenging the ruling African National Congress (ANC), which he once led.

He has been suspended from the ANC, but remains a member.

The former president is embroiled in numerous lawsuits ahead of the May 29 elections.

So far, the 81-year-old and MK have won several cases.

The MK is named after the disbanded military branch of the ANC, which wanted the courts to order a new name. However, this was rejected.

Zuma was president of South Africa from 2009 to 2018, when he was ousted over corruption allegations, which he has always denied.

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The IEC initially excluded Mr Zuma, arguing that the constitution prevented people from holding public office if they were convicted of a crime and sentenced to more than 12 months in prison.

Zuma was sentenced to 15 months in prison in 2021 for failing to testify in a corruption investigation, despite serving only three months for health reasons.

Opinion polls show this will be the most contentious election since the ANC came to power in 1994, ending decades of white minority rule.

It is predicted to get less than 50% of the vote for the first time since then.

The Knesset member is expected to do well in Zuma’s home province of KwaZulu-Natal.

Election image in South Africa

[BBC]

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