IEC confirms it has approached the Constitutional Court to appeal Jacob Zuma running for elections ruling

Former president Jacob Zuma’s candidacy in the upcoming elections is to be appealed by the IEC. Picture: Rajesh Jantilal

Former president Jacob Zuma’s candidacy in the upcoming elections is to be appealed by the IEC. Picture: Rajesh Jantilal

Published Apr 12, 2024


The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has approached the Constitutional Court to lodge an urgent appeal against the Electoral Court ruling, which found former president Jacob Zuma could run for elections despite a 15 month prison sentence.

The IEC had disqualified him from standing for public office, based on his July 2021 sentence for contempt of court.

The Electoral Court ruled this week, but has not yet provided reasons, that Zuma could run for elections and have his face on the ballot paper as a candidate for the Umkhonto WeSizwe Party (MK).

Speaking to IOL on Friday morning, IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela said the electoral body is seeking clarity from the apex court, on an urgent basis.

“That is correct (that the IEC has approached the Constitutional Court). It is more about the candidate list. Yes, so I can confirm that we have approached the Constitutional Court,” said Bapela.

South Africans will vote on May 29. File Picture

She said the IEC has filed its papers on an urgent basis, but she said there was no clarity yet on the date for a sitting.

“We have approached the Constitutional Court on an urgent basis, so that means as soon as the Constitutional Court is able to give us an urgent date, then the matter should be sitting for a hearing. At this moment we do not have a date, not yet,” said Bapela.

She emphasised the IEC wants the highest court in the land to make a ruling on “the criteria which candidates must meet” to be on the ballot.

The IEC had decided to uphold an objection that was made against the former president’s candidacy. Zuma appealed the decision and won at the Electoral Court.

In a statement on Tuesday, shortly after the Electoral Court’s decision, the commission said it wanted to be furnished with the reasons behind the judgment.

On Thursday, Zuma, who is celebrated his 82nd birthday on Friday, told a crowd of supported in Joburg that the IEC was out to get him.

Jacob Zuma and MK supporters outside the High Court in Joburg. File Picture: Itumeleng English / Independent Newspapers

Zuma is number one on the list of candidates for the MK to Parliament.

“It was argued that Zuma cannot be on the ballot, but I have never committed a crime. Another person has stolen money and hidden it under his mattress at home, the IEC says nothing about that person.

“They say nothing. They go for a person who has never stolen even a needle and that is Jacob Zuma,” Zuma told MK supporters.