South Africa: Jacob Zuma Faces Corruption Trial

South Africa: Jacob Zuma Faces Corruption Trial

South Africa’s former President Jacob Zuma is to face prosecution for 16 charges of corruption relating to a multi-billion-dollar arms deal.

The case centres on a 30bn rand ($2.5bn; £1.7bn) deal to modernise the country’s defence in the late 1990s.

The charges – which Mr Zuma denies – include counts of fraud, racketeering and money laundering.

Mr Zuma, 75, was forced to resign as president last month by his party, the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

He was facing his ninth no-confidence vote in parliament before he left office.

Chief Prosecutor Shaun Abraham said he believed there were “reasonable prospects of a successful prosecution” in the case.

French arms supplier Thales will also face charges, a prosecutor said.

Mr Zuma is alleged to have sought bribes from Thales to support an extravagant lifestyle. His financial adviser at the time was found guilty of soliciting those bribes in 2005 and Mr Zuma was later sacked as deputy president.

Original charges against Mr Zuma were controversially dropped shortly before he became president in 2009.

He now faces one charge of racketeering, two charges of corruption, one charge of money laundering and 12 of fraud.

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