Jacob Zuma, who led South Africa for almost nine scandal-tainted years before being ousted by the governing African National Congress, may now play a major role in the country’s political future.

Six years after being pushed from office, Zuma successfully upstaged his successor Cyril Ramaphosa in national elections this week, eating into the ANC’s support with his new uMkhonto weSizwe Party. The 82-year-old was feted by jubilant supporters as he walked into the electoral results center north of Johannesburg late Saturday, telling the audience his party’s rise shows "how people are angry.”

President Ramaphosa, 71, has remained out of the public eye and deep in talks since the ANC suffered its worst election result in three decades and lost its parliamentary majority, scraping just over 40% of the vote. Zuma’s MKP seized 14.6% just five months after its launch and wrested control of his home province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa’s second-most populous.