Home South African MK Party challenges Zuma’s removal from Parliamentary list in court

MK Party challenges Zuma’s removal from Parliamentary list in court

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The removal of former president Jacob Zuma as a candidate for the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party will be legally challenged after the party filed papers at the Electoral Court.

The MK party has taken the IEC to court over the removal of Jacob Zuma from its Parliamentary list. Picture: Itumeleng English, Independent Newspapers

THE REMOVAL of former president Jacob Zuma as a candidate for the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party will be legally challenged after the party filed papers at the Electoral Court.

The party said there were various reasons it was objecting to the decision of the IEC to remove Zuma from the Parliamentary list.

The MK Party believes Zuma has done nothing wrong and has a right to stand as their candidate in the elections.

It argued that the IEC lacks jurisdiction to decide on who can be on the list of candidates to contest for seats in Parliament.

It said the IEC has gone beyond its mandate by removing from the list one of its candidates.

“The IEC lacks the power, jurisdiction and/or authority to implement section 47 of the Constitution which deals with regulating membership of the National Assembly. That power resides with the National Assembly itself,” the MK Party argued in the court papers.

The Electoral Court will have to make a decision by next week.

IEC chairperson Mosotho Moepya had already said the law was clear on why Zuma could not stand as a candidate in the elections.

The commission said that if a person has been convicted and served more than a year in prison without an option of fine they would not be allowed to stand.

“Anyone who, after this section took effect, is convicted of an offence and sentenced to more than 12 months imprisonment without the option of a fine, either in the Republic, or outside the Republic if the conduct constituting the offence would have been an offence in the Republic, but no one may be regarded as having been sentenced until an appeal against the conviction or sentence has been determined, or until the time for an appeal has expired. A disqualification under this paragraph ends five years after the sentence has been complete,” said the IEC last week.

But the MK Party said the IEC cannot interfere with the rules of Parliament in terms of who can stand as a candidate.

Zuma was convicted and sentenced to 15 months imprisonment in 2021 by the Constitutional Court for defying a court order.

He served a few months in jail before he was released on medical parole.

Zuma has been campaigning for the MK Party since he announced his decision to support the newly-founded party in December last year.

The IEC said that if people are not happy with its decision, they can appeal the matter in the Electoral Court.

The MK Party is also involved in another case with the ANC over the trademark.

The matter was heard in the High Court in Durban last week where judgment was reserved.

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