Jacob Zuma expected to shun MP role and keep his benefits

Former president Jacob Zuma is expected to decline his nomination to be an MP.
Former president Jacob Zuma is expected to decline his nomination to be an MP.

It's highly unlikely that former president Jacob Zuma will accept his inclusion on the list of new ANC MPs despite being nominated by several branches.

ANC bosses at Luthuli House on Friday indicated that they did not expect Zuma to accept the nomination to serve as a backbencher after he was nominated to serve as an MP in the next parliament.

Zuma made it to the party's list of preferred candidates to serve in the incoming National Assembly, which was consolidated by the party's national list committee this week, with Zuma emerging as No 74.

ANC acting spokesperson Dakota Legoete said he believed it was unlikely the former head of state would be keen to take up a position on the backbenches of parliament.

"Being president is full-time even after you leave office. I don't think the former president will want to go to parliament," Legoete said.

If he took up the job of an MP, Zuma would have to forfeit his presidential benefits, including a guaranteed salary for life that currently stands at R3m a year, as well as perks such as a security detail.

Becoming an MP would also force him to publicly declare all his financial interests, company directorships and other assets because this is required of ordinary MPs.

Zuma's spokesperson Vukile Mathabela said the former president was not aware that he had been nominated by ANC branches.

“It is an ANC process that they will deal with at the national list conference,” he said.

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