Defend Truth


Jacob Zuma not allowed to stand for election on May 29 – IEC

Former President Jacob Zuma addresses supporters of the uMkhonto Wesizwe (MK) party on 7 February 2024. (Photo: Gallo Images / City Press / Tebogo Letsie)

President Jacob Zuma will not be allowed to stand for election on May 29, the Independent Electoral Commission has decided.

The IEC has sustained an objection to his candidature on the grounds that he has a criminal record with a sentence exceeding 15 months. Objections were lodged against eight candidates by different political parties; seven were refused, with the objection to Zuma the only one upheld, said the IEC chairperson Mosotho Moepya.

Zuma can approach the Electoral Court to appeal this decision and the court must decide by April 9 so final lists can be published and then ballot papers printed for the May 29 election.

The uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) party has received notification from the IEC and so has the party which objected to his candidacy. 

The outcome of the Electoral Court will not stop the ballot printing nor the election timetable said Moepye. This is because the image of the party will still be on the ballot paper and the party will still contest. 

The IEC deputy chairperson Janet Love said it was concerned by the violent utterances of certain party supporters threatening the elections. She said elections are a process owned by all and the integrity of the poll should therefore be protected by all. 

Commissioner Judge Dhaya Pillay recused herself from deciding on Zuma’s candidacy.  She was a Constitutional Court judge when Zuma was sentenced for being in contempt of court when he did not appear before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

Earlier this week, Daily Maverick’s Velani Ludidi reported that Section 47 of the Constitution stipulates that you cannot be elected to Parliament if you have been convicted of a crime and sentenced to 12 months or more in prison. You only become eligible again five years after the end of the sentence.

In 2021, Zuma was convicted of being in contempt of court and handed a 15-month sentence for his refusal to testify before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, which he established.

After being released on medical parole, the 81-year-old former president received a remission of sentence last year, for the remainder of the term.

Meanwhile, Johannesburg mayor Kabelo Gwamanda wants another job…in parliament

Gwamanda is number three on the national list of candidates for the Al-Jamah party which he represents in Johannesburg.

The party currently has one seat in Parliament.

The IEC has consulted the Public Service Minister on his candidacy and it has advised the mayor can stand but will have to resign as mayor as elected.

If he leaves, the city will have to elect a sixth mayor since the 2021 local government elections.DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • D'Esprit Dan says:

    The absolutely correct decision. His supporters must accept the decision or face the full might of the law. Such that it is. Then maybe we can restore a modicum of dignity to our electoral process.

    • Johan Buys says:

      There is no way that MK will not be putting up posters with former prisoner zuma’s mug shot.

      • D'Esprit Dan says:

        More than likely. At least we have the correct legal decision, not another institution cowering before thuggery. Small win, but a win nonetheless.

        • Malcolm McManus says:

          The fact that MK submitted Zuma as a candidate in the first place shows either lack of understanding or knowledge of the constitution or the total disrespect they have for the constitution. It glaringly obvious that the MK are just another ANC in the making and of absolute no use to South Africa, other than weakening the ANC and EFF. The only problem is they can form alliances with these parties which will allow them back into the feeding trough.

          • D'Esprit Dan says:

            Couldn’t agree more! Just another bunch of trough-feeders.

          • Bob Dubery says:

            It’s strange that Zuma accepted the nomination. If he returns to Parliament then he loses all the benefits he gets as a former Prime Minister.

            They can keep him on the posters. I see no problem with that. They should be clear to their supporters that President Zuma will NOT be taking a seat in Parliament.

            Though of course if his party does well enough, there will be no end to the noise of how he can’t sit in Parliament despite being the first choice for the 5th (or whatever) most popular party in the country.

            Unless MK does very poorly at the polls, there will be some sort of win for Zuma, and, unless he is foolish enough to take a seat in Parliament, little to lose.

          • Bob Kuhn says:

            Given the violent nature of MK prior to 1994, it is no surprise that the die-hard revolutionaries would resurrect the violence of “the spear of the nation” to galvanise their cadres…..their combat uniforms and other military regalia speak volumes!

          • Gavin Hillyard says:

            More like another EFF than an ANC I feel.

      • Bob Kuhn says:

        Zuma dared South Africa…..and South Afica has spoken….be gone with your treachery, violence and personal aggrandisement.

    • G C says:

      They didnt before and torched a province? will they do that again?

    • Gavin Hillyard says:

      Typical Zuma. He knew the rules but went ahead anyway. Rules didn’t apply to him when he was president. I hope the security forces are prepared for an MK rampage on election day. When are we going to see this guy in orange again?

  • Johan Buys says:

    All this does is feed the fire.

    What has MK done or said in the past week that is newsworthy? Instead they get acres of free media because it is all about the trademark and former prisoner zuma. If I lived in some parts of the country I would up my preparedness for trouble. If zuma tries 2021 again he will encounter a very different level of readiness.

    • Middle aged Mike says:

      “If I lived in some parts of the country I would up my preparedness for trouble.”

      Absolutely on your page. There’s nothing at all in past behaviour to predict that he and his enablers wont stoke unrest in support of their aims.

      On the different level of readiness, I’m not so sure. There were three people who stood up in my area of 150 odd households last time and I don’t expect an improvement. The state is more inept than it was last time so they are a non playable characters in this video game too.

  • Andrew Newman says:

    Shocking that the IEC approved him but had to reverse the decision only after public objections.

    • D'Esprit Dan says:

      I could be wrong, but that’s how the process works – you submit your lists and they’re open to public scrutiny and challenge for a certain period?

      • Andrew Newman says:

        The problem with that is the IEC gives themselves 18 days for checking candidates but only allows 1 day for public objections after the lists are published.

        The IEC had also previously confirmed that Zuma was ineligible when questioned by the press.
        Thank goodness for the leaks, that person is a hero.

    • Adrian J says:

      I don’t think the IEC checks all candidates for criminal records – I don’t think they would even have access to that information. They just publish the lists as received from the party. The objection process is the appropriate way for him to be removed from the lists.

      • Skinyela Skinyela says:

        They don’t, not even the parties themselves… It would seem.

        I say this because I recall an incident where the ANC fielded someone with a criminal record during a by-election in the bluff area, a place just outside Durban.

        The guy was once a cop, got convicted and lost his job.
        It’s either they didn’t do vetting, background check and screening or the law does not allow them to access such information.

  • D'Esprit Dan says:

    I wonder if the Pep Stores Pimpernel is regretting joining the EFF when there’s a number one spot available?

  • casper van zyl says:

    Choosing the nuclear option !@!

  • Skinyela Skinyela says:

    Since Zuma himself and the MK Party knew that he is not eligible to stand, but continued to field him anyway, I suspect that their aim is to cause noise and chaos… And possibly violent.

    Another angle is that they believe that Zuma supporters will not vote MK Party if Zuma is not the candidate.

    There are things that should be illegal, like misleading voters, because here we don’t have just one issue, we have two. MK Party is misleading its supporters that Zuma qualifies to become an MP and also qualifies to be president again. All lies, because even if he qualified to be an MP he still would not have qualified to be president.

    • Kenneth FAKUDE says:

      He will be the victim as he usually does when the law is against him and believe me there is thousands of supporters waiting to swallow the lies.
      This has the potential of an aggressive and chaotic response from supporters you would swear have a brain malfunction.

      • Skinyela Skinyela says:

        Well, society still has a long way to go on that front, look how a significant number of people still fall for forex and crypto scams, as well as charismatic churches(AKA Cults)

    • Greeff Kotzé says:

      That’s exactly it. Even if he was allowed to remain on their list, he would not have been compelled to follow through and become an MP after the elections, it’s entirely voluntary. Parties skip inducting people on their parliamentary lists all the time, for various reasons.

      MK’s plan was never to actually send him to Parliament. He wouldn’t have gone anyway, unless he was guaranteed to be president again, but that would not happen either, and anyone with an ounce of realism in their thinking (even the people in MK) knows that. But there’s all kinds of benefits for them to have pretended that this was the plan.

      I wish the media could stop feeding the beast, but they just can’t help themselves.

  • ilike homophones says:

    another phoenix is coming

  • Jane Lombard says:

    I suspect the Joburg mayor will do less damage while snoring gently during parliamentary proceedings. Anything to get him out of our city!

  • Les Thorpe says:

    Can’t wait for the riots and mayhem. Prepare to go shopping for a new 100 inch TV and double door fridge for free.

  • Lo-Ammi Truter says:

    The MK party knew he was inelligible when the put him on top of the list and will be milking the fact that he was thrown off the list all they can while being silently grateful that they won’t have to put up with him in their ranks in parliament post election.

    Its actually quite a clever ploy to get themselves on the front pages for weeks and draw thousands of sympathy and indignation votes away from EFF and the ANC without spending a penny.

    Well played, whoever came up with the idea.

    The whole thing is actually a win for the non-RET parties who would not have gotten votes from the ANC, MK and EFF voter pool anyway. The more votes the RET B-listers (MK and EFF) take away from the ANC the better. Divide and conquer. Even better when the enemy sommer divide themselves 😂.

    Books will be written about this election, I suspect.

  • Jacqueline Cullis says:

    Thank you for the article on the upcoming elections. Would it be possible to publish a list of the candidates standing for the next elections with a copy of their manifesto’s. I know that this most probably the responsibility of the IEC but it would be great to read more about the candidates so that we can educate ourselves about the potential candidates that we, the South African population who subscribe to your publication can consider.

  • Geoff Coles says:

    The only solution.


    Just the thought of the same incompetent and haphazard mayor of joburg being in that circus called parly, to help make law binding decisions, leaves Mr with really bad stomach cramps, this person has shown that sometimes being in a small party ,yet being given a huge responsibility, is the most foolish choice ever one can make

  • Middle aged Mike says:

    Democracy has been utterly wasted on South Africa’s electorate. It’s sad and pathetic what a hash we have made of it. The number of children born since the advent of democracy who will die in abject poverty will most likely exceed the number the Nats would have wished for in their most fevered dreams.

  • District Six says:

    What an utterly despicable, unconscionable man!

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted


This article is free to read.

Sign up for free or sign in to continue reading.

Unlike our competitors, we don’t force you to pay to read the news but we do need your email address to make your experience better.

Nearly there! Create a password to finish signing up with us:

Please enter your password or get a sign in link if you’ve forgotten

Open Sesame! Thanks for signing up.

We would like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick...

…but we are not going to force you to. Over 10 million users come to us each month for the news. We have not put it behind a paywall because the truth should not be a luxury.

Instead we ask our readers who can afford to contribute, even a small amount each month, to do so.

If you appreciate it and want to see us keep going then please consider contributing whatever you can.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Become a Maverick Insider

This could have been a paywall

On another site this would have been a paywall. Maverick Insider keeps our content free for all.

Become an Insider
Elections24 Newsletter Banner

On May 29 2024, South Africans will make their mark in another way.

Get your exclusive, in-depth Election 2024 newsletter curated by Ferial Haffajee delivered straight to your inbox.