Table of Contents

Date: 03 April 2024

The MK Party has taken decisive action by filing an appeal challenging the recent decision of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to bar President Zuma from being a member of Parliament. This appeal underscores our unwavering commitment to upholding justice, fairness, and the principles of democratic governance.

Through its legal representation, albeit non exhaustive, the MK party appeal contends that the IEC exceeded its authority by implementing section 47(1)(e) of the Constitution, which regulates membership of the National Assembly—since the IEC’s mandate is limited to determining qualification as a candidate, not membership eligibility for the National Assembly. We emphasize the doctrine of non-encroachment, maintaining that the IEC’s role should be confined to determining candidate qualifications, as stipulated by law.

Furthermore, MK Party raises serious concerns about bias influencing the IEC’s decision-making process, highlighting a premature public statement made by Commissioner Janet Love, a long standing member of the ANC who prejudged the issue and compromised the integrity of the entire Commission.

MK Party contend that a reasonable apprehension of bias or conflict of interest is sufficient to invalidate the decision especially noting that Ms Love is part of the loyal members of the ANC who served as an aid and confidante to President Ramaphosa in Parliament as an ANC MP.

Cadre Deployment of ANC Comrades to the IEC cannot be at the detriment of opposition parties.
On the merits, we challenge the application of section 47(1)(e) of the Constitution, arguing that it does not apply to President Zuma for several compelling reasons. Firstly that, President Zuma was not convicted of an offense in a criminal trial but rather found guilty of civil contempt, which does not constitute a criminal conviction. “It is declared that Mr Jacob Zuma is guilty of the crime of contempt of court for failure to comply with the order made by this Court…”. This was the Constitutional Court findings.

Secondly, the sentence imposed on Zuma was appealable due to the Constitutional Court’s order, rendering the proviso in section 47(1)(e) on appeal inapplicable.

Moreover, the issue of the remission of President Zuma’s sentence by President Ramaphosa, which effectively reduced his term to less than 12 months, therefore serving only 3, as such rendering him eligible under section 47(1)(e). We further criticize the deficiency of the objection lodged against President Zuma, arguing that it oversimplified the issues and failed to address crucial aspects, such as the lack of a criminal conviction and the remission of Zuma’s sentence, as it should.

In conclusion, we challenge the legality and validity of the IEC’s decision, asserting that it was made without proper jurisdiction, influenced by bias, and based on flawed interpretations of the law. We remain steadfast in our pursuit of justice and will spare no effort in defending President Zuma’s rights as the only South African post 1994 to be jailed without a trial.
We hope that the court in question is influenced by nothing else but the facts of the case.

Nhlamulo Ndhlela
Communications and Media

079 230 3345