Zuma can’t run in elections, says top court

Even though former president Jacob Zuma’s face is already printed on ballot papers, his previous prison sentence means he cannot run for Parliament.

The Constitutional Court this morning ruled that former president Jacob Zuma is not eligible to run for Parliament.

Zuma was running to be an MP for the MK Party following his 15-month sentence for contempt of the apex court.

Despite Zuma not being eligible to represent the MK Party as an MP in Parliament due to his conviction, he remains the face of the party and his face remains on the already-printed ballot papers.

The Electoral Commission of South Africa, known as the IEC, approached the court to seek clarity on Zuma’s eligibility to stand in the upcoming elections.

This followed an Electoral Court ruling that gave Zuma the green light to run despite his 15-month prison sentence.

The IEC disqualified Zuma on the basis that the Constitution prohibits anyone given a prison sentence of 12 months or longer from holding a parliamentary seat.

Zuma argued that the ultimate sentence against him is effectively three months due to a remission.

“It is declared that Mr Zuma was convicted of an offence and sentenced to more than 12 months’ imprisonment for purposes of section 47 (1) e of the Constitution and is accordingly not eligible to be a member of and not qualified to stand for election to the National Assembly until five years have elapsed since the completion of his sentence,” the Constitutional Court said.

Read original story on witness.co.za

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