South Africa ex-Prez Jacob Zuma charged with corruption

South Africa ex-Prez Jacob Zuma charged with corruption

Former President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, will appear before the High Court of Durban on Friday to defend corruption charges leveled against him dating back to a fraught United States dollars 2.5 bn arms deal in the mid-1990s.

NAIJ.com gathered that he is facing 16 counts of corruption, racketeering, fraud and money laundering at the high court in Durban.

His financial adviser, Schabir Shaikh, was found guilty of trying to solicit bribes on his behalf from a French arms firm and was jailed in 2005.

Following the postponement yesterday, Hoffman said that given the track record of Zuma's legal team, he foresaw they would lodge a review proceeding in respect of the decision not to uphold the representations made by Zuma.

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Businessman Siya Khoza said he admired Zuma's determination to bring in economic policies that he said were created to spread the wealth in what remains one of the world's most unequal societies.

The government said the fact that he was attending the summit as a head of state meant he had immunity, but the court disagreed.

Former president of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and the former president of South Korea, Park Geun-hye were both charged with corruption after their time of presidency.

It can be recalled that the last time Zuma was in court for a trial was more than 10 years ago on rape charges.

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One controversial aspect of Zuma's case is its funding by taxpayers, enabling his lawyers to mount successive appeals and challenges - a legal strategy dubbed in South African media as Zuma's "Stalingrad" approach, a reference to his lawyers' determination to fight for every yard of legal turf however long it takes.

Zuma, who resigned on February 14, says he has done nothing wrong. "They will exhaust every avenue to appeal and that will take about two to three years", Hoffman said. "I am innocent until proven guilty", Zuma told the crowd.

Today, in a defiant appearance outside the court, he continued to deny the allegations.

The Zuma of old is still here - the crowd pleaser, the charmer and tactical politician. As was the case the previous evening, Zuma supporters had chosen to defy the directive from ANC leadership forbidding the wearing of party regalia to express solidarity with the former president.

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Mr Zuma's remaining supporters argue that he is being targeted for backing a radical economic reform agenda. "There are people who are plotting to have me arrested and placed in prison". But days later, the High Court in Pretoria rules that the 2009 decision to drop the charges was "irrational" and that charges must be reinstated.

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