"Your application is dismissed": ConCourt delivers bad news to Jacob Zuma and his MK Party

26 October 2023: Former president Jacob Zuma during the fresh bid to have the lead state prosecutor, Advocate Billy Downer removed from his corruption trial at Pietermaritzburg High Court. Photo: SANDILE NDLOVU

The Constitutional Court has dealt a severe blow to former President Jacob Zuma's MK Party, dismissing their urgent application to halt the National Assembly's session for electing a new president. The ruling, delivered late on Wednesday night, has left the party reeling and the political landscape in suspense as the nation eagerly awaits the outcome of the impending presidential election.

The court's judgment, which has sent shockwaves through South Africa, highlights the lack of merit in the MK Party's case and their failure to provide sufficient justification for the delay in bringing the application. The Constitutional Court firmly stated that the urgency was "self-created" by the party, as they had been aware of the constitutional requirement to convene the National Assembly within 14 days of the election results being declared.

"It is not in the interests of justice to grant direct access as the impugned decisions or conduct first arose between 1 and 2 June 2024, to the knowledge of the applicant. However, despite this knowledge, the applicant only launched the application on 10 June 2024," the court stated.

The MK Party's bid to interdict Friday's sitting of the National Assembly to elect a new president has been met with resounding rejection by the apex court. While this decision may come as a significant setback for Zuma's party, it also raises questions about the party's strategies and legal acumen.

Furthermore, the Constitutional Court emphasized that the application failed to meet the necessary requirements for an interim interdict. The court clarified that the MK Party had not demonstrated irreparable harm if the interdict was not granted, nor had they shown that the balance of convenience favored their plea. Additionally, the party had misconstrued the constitutional provisions they sought to rely on, further weakening their case.

These developments have left the MK Party in a precarious position, with their application being dismissed and their hopes of halting the presidential election dashed. The Constitutional Court's ruling carries significant implications, as it highlights the adverse consequences of seeking relief without properly serving all parties involved.

In a decisive statement, the court underscored the importance of proper service, stating, "Even if the applicant met all the requirements for direct access, absent proper service, the applicant cannot be entitled to the relief sought. Consequently, the application must be dismissed. The application has been refused."

This ruling signifies a crucial moment in South Africa's political landscape, as it paves the way for the National Assembly to proceed with the election of a new president. The urgency surrounding this process has only intensified, with the country eagerly awaiting the outcome of this historic event.

With the MK Party's attempt to halt the election firmly rejected, attention now turns to the candidates vying for the country's top political position. As the nation holds its breath, political analysts and citizens alike are speculating on who will emerge victorious in this highly anticipated election.

Undoubtedly, the Constitutional Court's ruling has further ignited the already fervent political climate in South Africa. As the country grapples with various challenges, including corruption, socioeconomic disparities, and the need for decisive leadership, the election of a new president holds immense significance for the future trajectory of the nation.

With the stage set for the National Assembly to fulfill its constitutional duty, South Africa braces itself for a pivotal moment in its democratic journey. As the nation watches, the spotlight now shines on the candidates who will step into the shoes of leadership, guiding the country towards a better and more prosperous future.

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