Surprise comeback of South Africa's ex-president Jacob Zuma could challenge ANC

South Africa's ex-president Jacob Zuma is running a visible and noisy campaign for May's elections against his former party, the ruling African National Congress (ANC), another bump on a difficult road for the historical post-apartheid party.

Zuma, now 82, announced in December he would campaign for the small radical uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK, or the "Spear of the Nation" in Zulu) party.

South Africans will vote for parliament on 29 May. Elected members then vote for the president.

This election is likely to be the tightest since the introduction of democratic rule with the end of the apartheid era, in 1994.

After 30 years in power, the African National Congress (ANC) risks losing its absolute majority and being forced to share power in a coalition government.

Marianne Séverin, associate researcher at Sciences Po Bordeaux a specialist in South Africa told RFI that "Jacob Zuma could drain ANC votes in KwaZulu Natal" the second largest province of the country.

New campaign, old controversy

On Tuesday, Zuma denied forging the signatures required to enable the uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) party run in the elections

The MK party is bracing for a court pronouncement on whether its leader can be on the ballot or not.

Scandal-hit Jacob Zuma was the fourth president of democratic South Africa between 2009 and 2018.

He was later was forced out of office after being accused of corruption.

In 2021, he was jailed for contempt of court after refusing to appear before a corruption inquiry.


Read more on RFI English

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