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Thursday, 28 March 2024 15:45

IEC upholds objection to Jacob Zuma contesting elections.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has endorsed objections to former president Jacob Zuma's nomination to stand for parliament.

This was announced by the IEC chairperson Mosotho Moepya during a press conference on Thursday.

"In the case of former president Zuma, yes, we did receive an objection, which has been upheld. The party that nominated him has been informed, and so have the objectors,"Moepya said.

The decision is that no candidate with a criminal record can be elected to parliament.

The former president received a 15-month prison sentence in 2021 for contempt of court and the constitution says anyone who has had a prison sentence of longer than 12 months is not eligible to run for election. 

Section 47 and 106 of the Constitution sets out the eligibility criteria and qualifications for the National Assembly (NA) and provincial legislatures respectively.

They provide that every citizen who is qualified to vote for the national assembly and/or provincial legislature is eligible to stand for election except: anyone who has been declared to be of unsound mind by a court of the Republic, unrehabilitated insolvents, any person who was convicted of an offence and sentenced to more than 12 months imprisonment without the option of a fine.

This disqualification ends five years after the sentence has been completed. This ground of disqualification does not extend to persons who are yet to be sentenced and those, while sentenced, are yet to exhaust appeal mechanisms available to them," he said.

The IEC said that the ruling did not prevent the MK party from taking part in the 29 May poll.

Moepya said the commission dismissed objections in relation to 7 candidates and sustained one objection.

"Moepya said the Commission could only act within the confines of the law and the Constitution. The Commission has written to the objectors, candidates and the nominating parties to advise them of its determinations.

Any objector, party or candidate aggrieved by the decision of the Commission may appeal the decision with the Electoral Court by 02 April 2024.

The process of candidate nomination will culminate with the Commission releasing the lists of political parties and candidates that will appear on the various ballot papers.

For the first time since the start of the democratic era in 1994, the ANC's vote share could fall below 50%, according to several opinion polls. 

Watch Live in the video below:

Video Courtesy of IECSA.