Flash Briefing: ANC factionalism at ‘epidemic levels’; Zuma grasps at straws; ANC permitted to register candidates

  • The ANC is riven by factionalism and “thugs and gangsters” have infiltrated the process for selecting electoral candidates, according to an internal report cited by the City Press newspaper. The findings, tabled at a one-day sitting of the party’s national executive committee, come less than two months before municipal elections in which the party will try to claw back control of three major cities. “During all the various stages of the candidate selection process, the electoral committee and its structures encountered fierce factional tendencies,” City Press cited the report as saying. It said the internal rivalries were now at “epidemic levels.”
  • South Africa’s Constitutional Court backed the electoral authority’s decision to allow political parties more time to register candidates for municipal elections. The judgment enables the ruling African National Congress to field candidates in all of the nation’s wards, after it failed to register candidates for at least 35 municipalities by a previous deadline. Opposition parties including the Democratic Alliance and the Inkatha Freedom Party had opposed the registration extension. “The Constitutional Court held that the decision of the electoral commission to re-open the candidate nomination process for the 2021 municipal elections, in terms of this court’s order issued on Sept. 3, is not unconstitutional, unlawful and invalid,” the court said in a statement on its Twitter account Monday. Municipal elections will take place on 1 November.
  • After failing to convince the Constitutional Court to rescind his 15-month prison sentence, Jacob Zuma is now heading to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights in search of justice. Zuma’s lawyers argue that being sent to prison without a fair trial or a way to appeal infringes his human rights and is in contravention of both African and international human rights law. Local courts have maintained that Zuma had more than ample opportunity to state his case and make presentations to avoid prison but chose to ignore all of them.
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