A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

South Africa ANC election majority not enough to change constitution

[JURIST] The African National Congress (ANC) [party website] was formally declared the winner of South African parliamentary elections Saturday, but its win fell short of the two-thirds majority [BBC report] of seats needed to change or amend the country's constitution and pass legislation on its own. The election clears the way for party leader Jacob Zuma [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] to be named president upon the reconvening of Parliament of the Republic of South Africa [official website]. A number of opposition parties, including the Congress of the People (COPE) [party website], formed by supporters of Zuma's political rival, former ANC leader and South African president Thabo Mbeki [ANC profile] criticized the ANC during the vote, arguing that a landslide ANC election win would result in too much power - including the power to change the constitution unopposed - being concentrated in the hands of one party. Parliament is expected to reconvene next month [AP report].

Earlier this month, the National Prosecuting Authority of South Africa (NPA) [official website] decided to drop corruption charges [JURIST report] against Zuma after a long legal battle. In January, the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa [official website] reinstated the charges, which had been invalidated [JURIST reports] in September. Zuma was first charged with corruption in 2005, but those charges were later dismissed [JURIST report] because prosecutors failed to follow proper procedures.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.