South Africa’s Constitutional Court has ruled that former president Jacob Zuma is ineligible to stand for parliament due to his criminal record.

This led to his removaI from his party candidate list just over a week before the country’s watershed elections.

The ruling ANC is facing its toughest challenge since 1994.

Zuma broke away in December last year and formed his own party uMkhonto weSizwe which is now giving the ANC sleepless nights.

The court decision may deepen political turmoil in the country, while giving Zuma leverage to rally support for his party.

Overturning a special electoral court’s earlier decision, the Constitutional Court ruled Zuma could not stand as a candidate in the election due to his past criminal conviction.

The one-time ANC leader and President of the country was forced out of in 2018 by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Three years later, Zuma was convicted and sentenced for failing to appear at a corruption inquiry.

That sparked national protests and extensive destruction. Zuma’s attempted political comeback is a litmus test for South Africa’s fledgling democracy.