April 20, 2018

Ex-South African President Jacob Zuma charged with 16 counts of corruption

07 April 2018, 09:56 | Marta Robbins

Former president Jacob Zuma will on Friday appear in court over 16 charges of fraud corruption and money laundering

Former president Jacob Zuma will on Friday appear in court over 16 charges of fraud corruption and money laundering

Former South African president Jacob Zuma told thousands of supporters outside court in Durban on Friday that his opponents were telling lies and he would be proven innocent in a corruption case against him.

According to BBC, Zuma's appearance at the hearing is likely to be brief.

Zuma is now standing trial in his home province of Kwa-Zulu Natal. gathered that he is facing 16 counts of corruption, racketeering, fraud and money laundering at the high court in Durban.

Not less than 2,000 supporters taking side of the former president are also expected to see the proceedings and to demonstrate against the charges leveled at him.

The ruling party leadership had instructed him to resign in February after a leadership crisis that destabilised the ANC, which was already weakened by other scandals during his presidency.

At the hearing, Judge Themba Sishi said Zuma was free "on warning".

Shaik was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2005 based on the same accusations, but a much-criticised 2016 inquiry absolved Zuma of any blame.

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In the courtroom, supporters chanted Zuma's name, while outside, the crowds sang, "Tell us what he has done wrong" and "Hands off Zuma".

The ANC's chief parliamentary whip at the time, Tony Yengeni, was found guilty of fraud after it emerged he had received a large discount on the purchase of a luxury vehicle from one of the firms bidding for a contract. "That person still has their rights just like anybody else", Zuma said.

The High Court in Pretoria had ordered Zuma to personally pick up the costs for his failed bid to have the public protector's state of capture report reviewed and set aside.

One sign of this was defiance of the request by the ANC for none of its members to wear ANC colours if they chose to come and support Mr Zuma.

POOL New / Reuters Jacob Zuma and accused number two, the company Thales, represented by Christine Guerrier (R) appear at the KwaZulu-Natal high court in Durban.

Zuma is accused of illicitly pocketing a total of 4,072,499.85 rand - 280,000 euros at today's exchange rates - from 783 payments handled by Schabir Shaik, a businessman who acted as his financial adviser. He was later released on medical parole.

President Cyril Ramaphosa's office confirmed that the appeal against this part of the judgment also fell away.

Zuma was initially charged in 2007 while his greatest political rival, Thabo Mbeki, was president - charges that almost derailed his ambitions to succeed Mbeki.

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