MK Party vows to challenge IEC objection to Zuma’s presidential candidacy

Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Andre Grobler/SAPA

Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Andre Grobler/SAPA

Published Mar 31, 2024


The MK Party has vowed to use South African legal system to challenge and appeal the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) decision which upheld its earlier objection which bars former president and the MK Party leader, Jacob Zuma, from being an MP due to his recent criminal record.

Speaking to SABC News on Friday, MK Party head of election Musa Mkhize indicated that the party is still studying the IEC objection.

“As the MKP we still stand firm that nothing will stop president Zuma from being an MP and essentially, the president of this country come June 1, when the party takes over with a two thirds majority. We will use the South African law to ensure that this happens … As far as we know, nothing will stop Zuma from being the president. You can consult with the minister of justice on this matter. But we are saying nothing will stop president Zuma from ascending into power,” Mkhize said.

The commission confirmed that 81 other objections which were received in relation to candidates nominated by 21 political parties for the 2024 National and Provincial Elections.

The commission said its objection process is among the milestones in the candidate nomination process, which closed on March 8.

The IEC also gave an update on the ballot paper and why certain political parties and independent candidates are not eligible for inclusion.

On the issue of the former president, IEC chairperson Mosotho Moepya, during a media briefing on Thursday at at the commission's office in Centurion, said the party has been informed of this decision, adding that the party will still contest the elections.

“In the case of former president Zuma, we did receive an objection, which has been upheld. The party that nominated him has been informed,” Moepya said.

In spite of earlier indications that Zuma, due to his recent 15-months stint in prison, will not be eligible to contest the elections, the party indicated that all hell would break loose should this objection be upheld.

In 2021 the former state president was sentenced to 15 months in jail by the Constitutional Court after a contempt of court conviction, resulting in the infamous July riots of 2021.

According to Section 47 of the Constitution, any person who has been sentenced to more than 12 months is prohibited from becoming a member of Parliament.

Moepya added that any party or individuals wanting to object to the decision are welcome to make an a formal appeal.

It is still not yet clear if the MK Party will be objecting to this decision.

“Any objector, party or candidate aggrieved by the decision of the commission may appeal the decision with the Electoral Court by April 2,” he added.

Turning to the other objections Moepya said: “Of the 82 objections received, 74 were submitted on time. A total of eight objections were submitted after the cut-off time.”

Reacting to the news, political analyst Kim Heller indicated on social media that in spite of the ruling, the MK Party would still do well in the elections.

“The IEC decision means that the MKP number one candidate, the former president of South Africa , Jacob Zuma, will not be eligible to be in Parliament. My view: the MK Party will fare very well in the upcoming elections and the Zuma factor will remain whether he is in Parliament or not,” she said.

Saturday Star

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