Zuma faces court over corruption charges

Zuma faces 16 charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering over payments he allegedly received
JOHANNESBURG: Former South African President Jacob Zuma appeared in the Durban High court on Friday to answer several corruption and fraud charges in connection with a $2.5-billion arms deal procurement in the late 1990s.
This was his first court appearance since the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) decided to reinstate charges against him last month. The case has been postponed to June 8 for hearing.
Former National Prosecution Authority head Mokotedi Mpshe had withdrawn 783 corruption charges against Zuma in 2009, just weeks before he was elected president.
Mpshe said he was withdrawing the charges against Zuma after phone recordings between senior officials of former President Thabo Mbeki emerged, showing they had manipulated Zuma’s case for political ends.
Dressed in a dark suit and red tie, Zuma received a warm welcome from supporters when he arrived in court. Some sang his name “Zuma, Zuma!” and he turned to wave at them.
He kept a smile on his face as he waited for the judge to arrive. Outside the court, there were thousands of his supporters. He is expected to address them later.
The former president faces 16 charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering related to 783 payments he allegedly received from his former financial advisor, Shabir Shaik, who was jailed for corruption.
Zuma, 75, who came to power in South Africa in 2009, was forced to resign by his African National Congress party this year in February.
His tenure in office was reportedly marred by corruption, but Zuma denies any wrongdoing.–AA

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