HomeOpinionWill Ramaphosa's Pardon Allow Former President Zuma To Contest In The 2024...

Will Ramaphosa’s Pardon Allow Former President Zuma To Contest In The 2024 Elections?

The ruling party has argued that the use of the Umkhonto we Sizwe name and logo by the MK party may confuse voters into believing there is an association between the ANC and the MK party.

Political analyst Professor Dirk Kotze believes that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s pardon of former President Jacob Zuma could be the key to allowing him to contest in the 2024 elections.

Currently, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has barred Zuma from participating in the elections due to his criminal record. However, the Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) party has appealed this decision, and the electoral court will be hearing the appeal on Monday.

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In an interview with the SABC, Professor Kotze stated that the pardon granted to Zuma by Ramaphosa could be used by the MK party to argue their case. Zuma was released from prison in August 2023 after receiving a pardon from Ramaphosa.

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The former president had been sentenced for contempt of court and spent just over an hour behind bars. Ramaphosa’s decision to pardon non-violent offenders was aimed at addressing the issue of overcrowding in South Africa’s prisons.

Professor Kotze explained that the electoral court will need to determine whether the presidential pardon affects the application of the constitution’s rules.

While Zuma was originally disqualified from contesting the elections due to his 15-month sentence, arguments have been made that the general release of prisoners announced by President Ramaphosa, alongside the pardoning of those on parole, grants Zuma a form of presidential immunity or pardon.

As a result, some argue that the constitutional disqualification no longer applies to him. The IEC has cited Sections 47 and 106 of the Constitution as the basis for declaring Zuma ineligible to stand in the elections.

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These sections state that any person convicted of an offence and sentenced to more than 12 months imprisonment without the option of a fine is barred from contesting. However, the MK party is also involved in another court case against the African National Congress (ANC) over the use of the Umkhonto we Sizwe name and logo.

The ruling party has argued that the use of the Umkhonto we Sizwe name and logo by the MK party may confuse voters into believing there is an association between the ANC and the MK party.

The ANC has taken the matter to the High Court in Durban, seeking to claim the logo and name as its intellectual property.

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Ntuthuko Gumede for SurgeZirc SA
Ntuthuko Gumede for SurgeZirc SA
In the fast-paced world of politics, staying informed is crucial. Ntuthuko Gumede, a renowned journalist, has been making waves with his insightful and thought-provoking political news articles on SurgeZirc SA. With his expertise and dedication to reporting accurate and unbiased information, Gumede has become a trusted source for political analysis.
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