Zuma Vows to Fight Constitutional Court Ruling Barring Him from Parliament

Jacob Zuma
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JOHANNESBURG,– Former South African President Jacob Zuma announced on Thursday that he will contest the constitutional court’s ruling barring him from running for parliament in the upcoming election.

On Monday, the country’s top court ruled that Zuma’s 15-month jail sentence for contempt of court in 2021 disqualifies him from standing in the May 29 vote. The South African constitution prohibits individuals sentenced to 12 months or more in prison from holding a parliamentary seat.

In a YouTube video shared by his uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) party, Zuma criticized the decision, saying, “Judges of the constitutional court have taken a decision that I can’t exercise my freedom, my democracy.

I am going to fight for my rights until this country agrees that freedom must be a complete freedom, not for some and oppression for others.”

Despite the court’s ruling, Zuma will remain the registered leader of the MK party, though his name will be removed from its list of parliamentary candidates. His face will still appear on the election ballot papers.

Zuma endorsed MK in December, declaring he would not campaign for the African National Congress (ANC), the ruling party he led from 2007 until 2017.

He resigned as president of South Africa in 2018 under pressure from allies of current ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa, following a nine-year tenure marred by corruption scandals and economic challenges.

Zuma’s imprisonment in 2021 sparked deadly riots in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal, resulting in over 300 deaths and widespread looting. – Reuters