Violence feared to mar SA elections


Umkhonto we Sizwe leader Jacob Zuma

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – A SECURITY think-tank has warned of the possibility of violence in South Africa after the Constitutional Court’s barring former president Jacob Zuma from contesting the imminent elections.

It warned of the possibility of violence in Zuma’s stronghold province of KwaZulu—Natal (KZN), where his uMkhonto weSizwe party has gathered momentum ahead of the May 29 polls.

The courts on Monday disqualified Zuma because he has a criminal record after his arrest in 2021 for contempt of court.

He was sentenced for failure to appear before a commission he created to probe corruption under his term as president from 2009 to 2018.

“Violence, especially in KwaZulu-Natal, is especially likely in the event of Jacob Zuma and his supporters rejecting the verdict,” Crisis24 warned this week.

Following Zuma’s disqualification, the main opponents to incumbent Cyril Ramaphosa are John Steenhuisen of the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Julius Malema of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

Crisis24 noted increased tensions were likely nationwide for the duration of the election campaign.

“An increased security presence, road traffic, and business disruptions are likely around political events and polling stations.”

It noted service delivery protests were likely in the coming months and could escalate into broader acts of rioting should security services not prove able to contain crowds.

“Clashes between security forces, opposing rival activists, striking union members, or other forms of political violence are likely.”

Ramaphosa’s ANC is factionalised ahead of the wattershed elections.

Africa’s oldest liberation movement has been in power since 1994, after the end of apartheid.

– CAJ News

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