SA poll agency rejects bid to remove Zuma from MK party

Source: BBC

The South African electoral commission has rejected a request to remove former President Jacob Zuma as the leader of the newly formed Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) party. 

It was responding to a letter by MK founder Jabulani Khumalo who wanted the commission to remove Mr Zuma as the face of the party and from its list of potential members of parliament.

Mr Khumalo, who was recently expelled from the party, said Mr Zuma fraudulently occupies the position as leader of the new party.

He also wrote to Mr Zuma, placing him on precautionary suspension for what he said was “several acts of misconduct”.

But in a statement on Tuesday, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said it does not interfere with political parties’ internal affairs and confirmed that Mr Zuma remained a registered leader of the MK party.

“The commission only acts on the instruction of the registered leader of the party,” the poll agency said, adding that Mr Zuma has remained MK party leader since last month. 

The 82-year-old has thwarted attempts to stop him, or his new party, from contesting the general election on 29 May.

On Friday, the Constitutional Court will hear an appeal by the IEC on Mr Zuma’s candidacy ban for a parliamentary seat.

In March, the electoral commission unsuccessfully tried to bar him over a contempt of court conviction.

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