Home Politics South African Police Probe Zuma’s Party Over Election Signature Forgery Claims

South African Police Probe Zuma’s Party Over Election Signature Forgery Claims

Jacob Zuma.

South African police are investigating claims that former President Jacob Zuma’s new political party, the MK Party, may have forged signatures to register for the upcoming national and provincial elections on May 29.

This investigation was sparked by allegations reported by a national newspaper Sunday that a former party official accused the party of fabricating some of the 15,000 signatures needed for electoral registration.

The MK Party has been critical of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), which Zuma led from 2007 to 2017.

The National Police Commissioner, Gen Fannie Masemola, confirmed on Tuesday that the police had launched an inquiry in Cape Town, where the alleged forgery occurred.

Gen Masemola said the inquiry will determine if there is substantial evidence that could lead to prosecution.

The MK Party successfully registered for the elections after an initial rejection last year by the Independent Electoral Commission.

Despite Zuma’s 2021 criminal conviction for contempt of court, which initially barred him from candidacy, an appeal in his favour was upheld. A definitive ruling from the Constitutional Court is expected next month.

Zuma, who led South Africa from 2009 to 2018, was forced to resign amid corruption allegations. He continues to face a corruption trial, which has been repeatedly delayed. Since his resignation, he has openly criticised his successor, President Cyril Ramaphosa, and the current ANC leadership.

This year’s elections are viewed as critical, with many predicting that the ANC may lose its parliamentary majority for the first time since it came to power at the end of apartheid in 1994.

The MK Party’s participation in the elections could deplete votes from the ANC, potentially forcing it into a coalition government.

Nevertheless, the outcome of the police investigation could lead to the MK Party’s disqualification from the elections if it is found guilty of forging signatures.

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