Former South African President Jacob Zuma Disqualified from May Elections

Former South African President Jacob Zuma has been disqualified from participating in the upcoming May elections, according to the electoral commission. The elections, scheduled for May 29, are anticipated to be highly competitive, marking a significant milestone since the end of apartheid in 1994. Zuma, who was previously incarcerated for contempt of court in 2021, has been actively campaigning for the newly established uMkhonto WeSizwe (MK) party to revive his political career.

The electoral commission’s President, Mosotho Moepya, confirmed that an objection against Zuma’s candidacy was upheld, although specific details were not disclosed. Both the nominating party and objectors were notified of the decision. The ruling African National Congress (ANC) faces the possibility of falling below the 50 percent threshold for the first time since its inception, amidst economic challenges and allegations of corruption.

Recent polls indicate the ANC polling at slightly over 40 percent, with the main opposition Democratic Alliance at approximately 27 percent and the MK party at 13 percent. Zuma’s presidency, marred by corruption allegations, ended in 2018 when Cyril Ramaphosa assumed office. Zuma’s subsequent imprisonment in 2021 sparked widespread protests and violence, resulting in numerous casualties.

Despite his legal issues, Zuma remains influential in politics and has been campaigning vigorously for the MK party to rejuvenate his career and challenge his former party, the ANC, which suspended him in January. The decision to disqualify Zuma can be appealed until April 2, as stated by the electoral commission. MK party spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndlhela indicated that they are considering an appeal based on the merits of the objection.