Durban — Former South African President, Jacob Zuma, cannot be the president of the country after this year’s general elections because of his alleged criminal record.
This was clarified by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in its formal response to the Daily News on Tuesday.
The electoral body cited Section 47(e) of the country’s Constitution, which bars anyone who was convicted and sentenced to more than 12 months imprisonment, without an option of a fine, from holding public office.
The section further stated that the disqualification under this paragraph ends five years after the sentence has been completed, which still bars Zuma since he had not finished five years out of jail.
“Therefore, this provision renders Former President JG Zuma disqualified to be on the list of any party contesting an election or to contest as an independent in the upcoming 2024 elections,” said the IEC.
This meant that Zuma would have to try his luck in the 2029 general elections.
Addressing the Nazareth Baptist Church’s annual pilgrimage over the weekend at the Canaan Holy Mountain in Ndwedwe north of Durban, Zuma told the congregation that he was removed while he was still fighting for black people, therefore he wanted to go back to fix things that had not been fixed.
This had been construed as referring to his tenure as the state president.
He also asked the congregation to pray for him to get back.
Zuma was convicted and sentenced to 15 months after he was found guilty of defying a summons to appear before the State Capture Commission in 2021.
He served a few months at the Estcourt Correctional Services and after spending some time in 1 Military Hospital, he was released on parole and subsequently received a presidential pardon after the parole was declared invalid by the Constitutional Court.
He went back to the same Correctional Services centre just for his remission to be processed in August last year.
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