'It is what it is': Ramaphosa reacts to ConCourt's ruling on Zuma

President Cyril Ramaphosa was at the Primedia Studios in Sandton, Johannesburg on Monday. Picture: X/ANC

President Cyril Ramaphosa was at the Primedia Studios in Sandton, Johannesburg on Monday. Picture: X/ANC

Published May 20, 2024


President Cyril Ramaphosa remarked "it is what it is" following the Constitutional Court's ruling that former president Jacob Zuma will not serve in the National Assembly.

Zuma was removed from the Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party's parliamentary list ahead of the May 29 national and provincial elections.

The ConCourt ruled that the former statesman was effectively disqualified to be a member of Parliament (MP) after being convicted and sentenced to 15 months in prison in 2021.

His sentence was handed down by the same court after he refused to appear before the then Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo at the State Capture Commission of Inquiry.

"The court has ruled and as I often said, that is the highest court in the land and we have given the judiciary the right to arbitrate disputes among us in terms of our constitution. So they have come out with a ruling and I note that ruling and that is what it is," Ramaphosa said.

He was in conversation with 702's Clement Manyathela and Eyewitness News' (EWN) Tshidi Madia at their studios on Monday during the ruling.

The matter was brought by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) to court challenging Zuma’s eligibility in parliament.

The Electoral Court had initially ruled that Zuma was fit to be a MP and that his sentence did not restrict him.

The South Africa Communist Party (SACP) welcomed the ruling and said this served as clarity that other "convicted law breakers" who fall into the same category are not eligible to be MPs.

"The Constitutional Court agreed with the IEC that, at this stage, Zuma is not eligible to stand as a candidate for election. Zuma and his supporters must accept the rule of democratic law," the SACP said in a statement.

The IEC has also noted and welcomed the judgment.

"Now that the matter has been settled by the highest Court and given that the constitutional uncertainties have been clarified, the Commission can continue with final preparations for free and fair 2024 National and Provincial Elections (NPE) single-mindedly, without apprehension that the elections are susceptible to challenge," the commission said in statement.

Zuma is still the leader and face of MK Party. He will run for the election despite his removal from the party's parliamentary list.

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