Former South African president to face corruption trial


Former South African President Jacob Zuma will be prosecuted for several counts of corruption due to his alleged involvement in a multi-billion-dollar arms deal.

NPA boss Shaun Abrahams announced on Friday afternoon that the NPA believes it can successfully prosecute Zuma.

Zuma, who was forced to resign by his ruling African National Congress (ANC) last month, was at the centre of a 1990s deal to buy European military kit that has cast a shadow over politics in South Africa for years.

Zuma has consistently denied the allegations against him, and in fact, he has argued that he was targeted for by officials at the National Prosecuting Authority and his right to a fair trial has been abused.

Shaun Abrahams, head of the National Prosecuting Authority, noted the "long history" of the reinstated charges against Zuma, which were thrown out by prosecutors almost a decade ago in a contentious decision that opened the way for him to become president. He stated in his announcement that Zuma's representations had not been enough for him to avoid his day in court, adding that he would be facing 16 charges which included racketeering, corruption, fraud and money laundering.

But on Friday Abrahams, addressing a media briefing, said that a trial court would be the most appropriate forum for these charges to be "ventilated and to be decided upon". It was after this that Zuma was then eligible to stand for president of the country. Schabir Shaikh, his former financial adviser, was found guilty and jailed in 2005 for trying to solicit bribes for Zuma from a French arms company.

Abrahams said the director of public prosecutions in KwaZulu-Natal will facilitate the process for Zuma to appear in court.

In a brief statement on Saturday, Hulley said: "We are giving consideration to the one page and somewhat terse response received from the [NDPP] wherein he advised that the representations made on behalf of Mr Jacob Zuma are unsuccessful".

Since his election nine years ago, his opponents have fought a lengthy legal battle to have the charges reinstated.