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By Enkosi Selane

Digital Journalist

WATCH: Zuma’s face will appear on the ballot for the MK party – IEC (VIDEO)

Zuma's candidacy has been clouded by an objection that his conviction and sentencing for contempt of court disqualified him from running for a seat in Parliament.

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has confirmed that former president and current ANC member Jacob Zuma will appear on the ballot paper this year for the uMkhonto weSizwe Party.

Zuma has been campaigning for the party for several months, with the ANC set to only start disciplinary processes against him after the elections.

His candidacy has also been clouded by an objection that his conviction and sentencing for contempt of court disqualified him from running for a seat in parliament.

ALSO READ: The IEC fell into Zuma’s trap (VIDEO)

The electoral court last week set aside the IEC’s decision to bar him from the ballot.

The IEC has taken the matter to the Constitutional Court and on Tuesday confirmed Zuma would be on the ballot.

Watch the IEC speak on Zuma’s candidacy:

Deputy Chief Electoral Officer Masego Sheburi said “there’s a difference between what the party does on the campaign trail, how it campaigns the posters that it puts up”.

Sheburi further stated that the commission’s only point of interest are the “identifiers” on the ballot paper.

READ MORE: Electoral Court rules in favour of Zuma and MK party ahead of 29 May polls

“For the parties that we have asked about, we can confirm that the face of the party on the ballot paper in respect of MK party will be that of Mr Jacob Zuma because the party has given us a notice that it has changed its leadership structure.

“Mr [Jabulani] Khumalo is no longer the party leader, Mr Zuma is the party leader,” Sheburi added.

IEC vs Zuma court battle

After the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party turned to the court in a last-ditch bid to have Zuma on the ballot, the IEC’s contest to have him dismissed was rejected.

Sitting in the Johannesburg High Court last week, the Electoral court deemed Zuma and MK’s appeal to participate as a candidate in the upcoming elections successful.

Furthermore, the court granted the application for leave to appeal.

“The decision of the Electoral Commission of 28 March 2024 in terms of which the Electoral Commission upheld Dr Matsapola’s objection to the second applicant’s candidacy [Mr Zuma] is set aside and substituted with the following: “The objection is hereby dismissed”.”

MORE TO READ: ‘IEC is non-political’ – Rampahosa defends commission over Zuma legal battle

IEC on Zuma’s sentence

IEC’s counsel Advocate Thembeka Ngcukaitobi in the court case had argued that Zuma’s arrest is what mattered most.

Ngcukaitobi argued that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s pardon on Zuma did not translate to the erasure of the 15 month sentence.

He said Section 47 (1) (e) of the Constitution speaks about the sentence imposed by the court.

“The reason we have Section 47 (1) (e) is because it is a legislative determination that certain convictions and certain offences would preclude a person from exercising their rights to come to Parliament.

“The reason they put it at 12 months is because it is a signal of the seriousness not only of the conviction but of the offence, and the reason they also make it clear that there should be no option of a fine because what the constitutional drafters are trying to tell us is that serious lawbreakers should not be lawmakers,” Ngcukaitobi argued.