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Zuma to go on trial for corruption

Zuma to go on trial for corruption

The newly elected leader of South Africa's ruling party has been ordered to stand trial on corruption and other charges next year, possibly derailing his attempts to become the country's president.
Jacob Zuma will be tried in the High Court in August on charges of racketeering, money laundering, corruption and fraud, his lawyer, Michael Hulley said Friday.
Zuma, 65, defeated South African President Thabo Mbeki last week in a bitterly contested election for the leadership of the African National Congress. The battle left deep rifts in the 85-year-old party, which former president Nelson Mandela lead to victory over the racist apartheid state.
Zuma, who was acquitted of rape last year, has denied any corruption and has said prosecutors are trying to smear him for political reasons.
In a harshly worded statement e-mailed to the Associated Press, Hulley accused prosecutors of acting "with improper motive calculated to discredit" Zuma. "The timing is calculated to quickly redress the popular support and call to leadership of the ANC which Mr. Zuma's election so obviously demonstrates," he said.
Tlali Tlali, a spokesman for the National Prosecuting Authority, would not comment Friday.
Mbeki fired Zuma as the country's deputy president in 2005 after Zuma's financial adviser was convicted of trying to elicit bribes.
Prosecutor contend Zuma was aware of efforts to secure payments for him from French arms company Thint Holdings in exchange for stopping investigations into a multibillion-dollar arms deal with the government.
Charges against Zuma were thrown out last year on a technicality. But last week the country's top prosecutor said he had enough evidence to go back to court - an announcement that overshadowed Zuma's victory over Mbeki.
Zuma responded defiantly at press conference after his election as ANC president. "Take me to court," he said.


Updated : 2021-04-15 03:35 GMT+08:00