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South Africa’s ex-president eyes political comeback

Ex-South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma, who is facing corruption charges and also served a short stint in jail, has come out to say he is ready for a political comeback with the ruling party ANC.

In a statement on Monday, Zuma, now 80, said he has been asked by members of the African National Congress (ANC), which has ruled South Africa since the end of apartheid, to put himself forward, as the party gears up to elect a new leadership.

The move comes amid heavy infighting within the ANC, ahead of a national elective conference in December.

The party is ready to hold internal polls to pick a new leader, who could then become the candidate for the next presidential election in 2024.

As it stands, Current President Cyril Ramaphosa is hoping to secure a second term but faces a challenge from a faction loyal to the ex-president, who is a divisive figure but his name resonates with most of South Africa’s ANC grassroot members.

Zuma became president in 2009 but was forced to step down nine years later in favour of Ramaphosa, who was his then vice-president.

In July last year Zuma was jailed for 15 months for contempt of court after refusing to testify before a graft inquiry, but was released on medical parole just two months into the term.

Editing by Tersoo Nicholas