Zuma unshaken by Concourt ruling, says brother



Published May 24, 2024


Durban — Former president Jacob Zuma is unfazed despite the Constitutional Court’s judgment that disqualified him from becoming a candidate for deployment to the National Assembly after next week’s elections.

This was revealed by his brother Khanya during an exclusive interview with the Daily News on Tuesday, a day after the apex court’s unanimous judgment on Monday.

“My brother is relaxed as usual. If anything, the ruling has motivated him to fight even more to return to government and change people’s lives,” said Khanya.

Khanya – who also lives in Nkandla, northern KwaZulu-Natal, just outside Zuma’s compound – said the former president was in his usual jovial mood.

“He has been welcoming people who are coming to visit here. He is happy as usual. There is no indication that the judgment affected him in any way,” said Khanya, who declined to comment further on the matter.

Zuma, who is the former president of the ANC, was placed at number one on the uMkhonto weSizwe Party’s (MKP) candidate list for the National Assembly.

This meant that if the party won the elections or became the next governing party through a coalition government, Zuma would have become the president of the country, a seat he once occupied from 2009 until his dramatic defeat in 2018 when he was still ANC president.

MKP insiders have the told Daily News that the party would be holding a series of meetings in the coming days in a bid to find Zuma’s replacement.

Despite the judgment, Zuma remains the leader of the MKP.

“We are waiting for the direction from the old man (Zuma). But I can tell you that we have meetings that will be happening later this week in Nkandla to map a way forward,” said a party leader who did not want to be named.

The judgment comes as Zuma was locked in a bitter battle over the leadership of the party with the expelled Jabulani Khumalo, who registered the party in September but was unceremoniously axed by Zuma in April.

He was expelled from the nine-month-old party along with Rochelle Davidson, Ray Khumalo, Bheki Manzini and Lebo Moepeng.

Khumalo was, however, not going down without a fight after taking the matter to the Electoral Court in a bid to remove Zuma as party leader ahead of the elections.

While Zuma’s former allies-turned-enemies, the SACP and ANC, have welcomed the Concourt judgment, MKP spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela was adamant it was not the end of the road.

“We are taking this matter to the UN Human Rights Committee and to get it overturned,” said Ndhlela during his interview with Newzroom Afrika.

But with just over a week before the crunch elections, that path appeared to be doomed.

At the centre of the legal brawl was Zuma’s 15-month prison sentence meted out him by the Concourt in 2021 for contempt of court after he refused to appear before the State Capture Commission of Inquiry, chaired by then deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, who is now chief justice.

The highest court in the land overturned the Electoral Court’s ruling that cleared Zuma to stand as a candidate.

Political analyst Thobani Zikalala said the judgment was not a “train smash”, for the party.

“Zuma had no intention of going back to Parliament if he was not president of the country. The judgment will not derail the party. If anything, it could pay dividends if Zuma played his cards right.”

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