South Africa: Ex-President Jacob Zuma Due In Court Next Month
He is to answer to 18 counts of graft concerning a 1,322 billion FCFA weapons deal.
Lawyers representing Jacob Zuma, South Africa’s former President on March 27, 2018 vowed to challenge the State Prosecutor’s decision to charge him with 18 counts of corruption, the BBC reported. Zuma was earlier in the day issued a court summons for April 6, 2018 in connection with a 1999 arms deal worth 2.5 billion US dollars (1,322 billion FCFA.).
“We are preparing an application to review the National Director of Public Prosecution’s decision to prosecute Zuma,” said Michael Hulley, one of the defence counsel.
The National Prosecuting Authority earlier this month said it would seek to prosecute Zuma on 16 charges, including fraud, racketeering, corruption and money laundering. Zuma has repeatedly denied wrongdoing. The former President, who was forced to resign by his ruling African National Congress last month, is at the centre of a 1990 deal to buy European arms.
He was Deputy President at the time of the arms transaction. Schabir Shaikh, his former financial adviser, was found guilty and jailed in 2005 for trying to solicit bribes for Zuma from the French arms company. Charges were previously filed against Zuma, but later dropped by the National Prosecution Authority shortly before he successfully ran for President in 2009. Since his election nine years ago, his opponents fought a lengthy legal battle to have the charges reinstated, but Zuma countered with his own legal challenges.