The Pietermaritzburg High Court [official website] of South Africa ruled [judgment, PDF] Tuesday that the 2015 election of a faction loyal to South Africa’s president, Jacob Zuma, is invalid. Zuma loyalists took control [Reuters report] of the KwaZulu Natal province [Britannica materials], the ancestral home of the president, in 2015 at a party conference after ousting former African National Congress (ANC) [official website] KwaZulu-Natal chairperson, Senzo Mchunu. Judge Jerome Mnguni read on behalf of the court the two-sentence order that declared, “The eighth KwaZulu Natal provincial elective conference … unlawful and void.” Many speculate that Tuesday’s ruling could further dissolve Zuma’s support base, especially after Zuma narrowly survived a no-confidence vote last month in South Africa’s parliament. The ANC is reviewing the decision before announcing their next steps.
Tuesday’s setback adds to the South African president’s lengthy history of legal trouble. In June a South African court denied [decision, PDF] Zuma’s appeal of a prior court ruling [JURIST report] that he should face nearly 800 corruption charges. In April Zuma evaded impeachment [JURIST report] after the ANC reaffirmed its support for the president. The move to impeach Zuma came from opposition leaders after the Constitutional Court [official website] ruled [JURIST report] in March that he had ignored the order of the Public Protector to personally repay the amounts determined by the National Treasury, as they relate to the “non-security” upgrades to his private residence.