Ex-South Africa Leader Zuma Must Face Corruption Trial, Says Court


Former South African president Jacob Zuma will face trial on corruption charges after a court dismissed his application to halt the case for good.

Zuma, who is accused of taking bribes from French defence company Thales in the 1990s, sought to have the case permanently dropped in March, saying it was politically motivated and that the years of delay would result in an unfair trial.

It's uncertain how long the trial will last and when South Africans will have answers for a case that has been going on for nearly 15 years.

The defence also argued that there was huge political interference in the matter which met his client could not be afforded a fair trial.

The ruling by Judge Jerome Mnguni in the Pietermaritzburg High Court paves way for Zuma's trial to start on October 15.

Zuma's legal team has argued that his court case has been prejudiced by long delays and that there has been political interference in his prosecution.

Although investigations started into the arms deal in the early 2000s, Zuma was first charged in June 2005 following the conviction of his former financial advisor, Schabir Shaik, on two counts of corruption and one of fraud.

They said it failed to prove to the court that there are no reasonable and probable grounds for his successful prosecution.

"There are also other avenues that the man might still use. he can still appeal so it's still going to drag", Dube told AFP, adding that the country may "not yet see him facing his alleged deeds". The family has been implicated in several corrupt schemes in South Africa, allegedly stealing hundreds of millions of dollars through illegal deals with the South African government, obfuscated by a shadowy network of shell companies and associates linked to the family.

Zuma's successor as president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has vowed to tackle corruption in South Africa, which has been led by the ANC since Nelson Mandela came to power in 1994 after the end of apartheid.

In July, Zuma faced questioning by Raymond Zondo, a senior judge, mandated to investigate separate allegations of "state capture" in South Africa during his presidency.