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Electoral Commission CEO Sy Mamabolo. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA/BUSINESS DAY
Electoral Commission CEO Sy Mamabolo. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA/BUSINESS DAY

The outcome of the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) court case on former president Jacob Zuma’s eligibility to stand for parliament will not affect the ballot paper, says IEC chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo.

On Tuesday the IEC said that Zuma is the registered leader of the MK Party, and "he is the person whose photograph is on the ballot paper for the party".

"Whether he is a candidate, it has no bearing on that aspect because you are on the ballot if you are the registered leader of the party, irrespective of whether you are a candidate in the election. There won’t be any effect on the ballot paper," said Mamabolo.

The IEC approached the Constitutional Court, challenging Zuma’s eligibility to be an MP after the Electoral Court ruled that Zuma would appear on the ballot for the May 29 provincial and national elections.

Zuma was convicted of contempt of court in 2021 and sentenced to 15 months in jail. The constitution excludes anyone sentenced to jail for 12 months or more without the option of a fine from standing for public office.

Briefing reporters on Tuesday, the IEC also dismissed claims that Zimbabwe’s governing Zanu-PF has been accredited to observe SA’s election.

The IEC said that 76,000 South Africans abroad would cast their ballots at various missions this weekend. South Africans in nine countries will vote on Friday while the rest in 102 countries will vote on Saturday. Given the high number of expected voters in London, 24,000, this station will open on Saturday and Sunday.

"The commission declares its readiness to ensure voting goes smoothly in 111 countries around the world.

"All missions have already received the election materials, which include ballot papers, voting booths, ballot boxes, envelopes and the relevant list of voters."

Mamabolo said 160 organisations with 5,000 observers, domestic and foreign, will observe the election.

"About 15 of these organisations are international, including the AU, the Carter Centre’s democracy programme and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance. International observers will be briefed on May 26," he said.

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