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By Zanele Mbengo


IEC’s decision on Zuma creates an impression contrary to the reality – analyst

Former President Jacob Zuma will appear on ballot representing uMkhonto weSizwe party, as confirmed by the IEC.

Former president Jacob Zuma will feature on this year’s ballot paper, representing the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party, the Electoral Commission of South Africa’s (IEC) deputy chief electoral officer Masego Sheburi has confirmed.

“The party has given us notice that it has changed its leadership structure. [Jabula] Khumalo is no longer the party leader, Zuma is,” he said.

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

Zuma remains a member of the ANC, which has said it will address the issue after the elections next month.

The IEC lodged an urgent and direct appeal to the Constitutional Court against the Electoral Court’s order, which overturned its decision to exclude Zuma from the candidates list following an appeal by the MK party.

Matter not over

According to political analyst Ntsikelelo Breakfast, “the Zuma matter has not been fully addressed, which is why IEC took it up – because it is urgent”.

Breakfast said the IEC’s decision might create an impression contrary to the reality, because what was a point of allowing him to be the embodiment of the party while the matter was taken to court.

“Being an image of a party does not mean you will be a member of the National Assembly,” he said.

“This is a torn issue because some people might say the IEC is entering into a political space, which it is not.

“The IEC is acting on behalf of the objector – there was an objection about Zuma’s eligibility.

“So if that matter was challenged and room was made, why was the matter pursued?

“It’s because the matter has divided the country and it’s still hanging,” he said.

Although the Electoral Court has not yet provided reasons for setting aside the IEC’s decision, chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo has stated it had no influence on their appeal to the Constitutional Court.

“When an appeal is lodged, it is lodged against the orders of the court, not against the judgment. We have orders in this case and on the basis of those orders, we think there is a need for clarity on a number of issues,” he said.

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

Mamabolo said the IEC was seeking clarification on whether the commission went beyond its scope of authority in invoking Section 47(1)(a) when it excluded Zuma from the candidates list.

Other points were “whether commissioner Janet Love prejudged the issue of Zuma’s eligibility to contest the election when answering a question from the media, and whether she should have recused herself”, he said.

Mamabolo said also in question was “whether the remission of a prison sentence amounts to the remission amount of the reduction of a sentence as ordered by a court of law”.

Mamabolo stressed the importance of addressing those questions to provide clarity for this and future elections.

Ballot papers can now be printed

During a media briefing yesterday, the IEC said the finalisation of the list of candidates meant it could now print the ballot papers.

The IEC said it had issued certificates to more than 14 000 candidates who will contest the elections, noting there were 70 political parties and 11 independent candidates.

A total of 31 political parties will contest the national elections for the first time, including 15 candidates who, at 18 years old, were also first-time voters.

Mamabolo said more than 95% of the logistical supplies for election day were at hand.

“We are in the process of distributing 1 873 tons of material between our different warehousing and storage facilities across the country,” he said.

Mamabolo said the commission had decided the ballot paper would be underpinned by the full name of each of the parties, their abbreviations, their logos, and pictures of the party leader.

Independent candidates would have their names, photographs and the word “independent” on the ballot papers.

The 27.79 million registered voters would receive three ballot papers for the national elections, province-to-national polls and the provincial ballot.