Saturday, April 07, 2018

Former South African President Zuma's Corruption Case Postponed
Published: 2018/4/6 19:20:34

The corruption case against former South African President Jacob Zuma has been postponed to June 8, the Durban High Court announced on Friday.

The lawyers for the South African state and those for the defendant agreed to request a postponement of the justice proceedings to June 8, which came a few minutes after Zuma appeared briefly in court to face 16 charges of fraud, corruption and racketeering.

Zuma later addressed thousands of his supporters gathered outside the court, saying that the charges against him could never be proven.

Last month, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) reinstated corruption charges against Zuma, which had been dropped in the early 2000s and paved the way for Zuma to become president in 2009.

The charges are related to a multi-billion-rand (with the exchange rate between the South African rand and the US dollar being 100 to 8.29) arms deal with European countries in the late 1990s, which Zuma has completely denied.

The prosecution alleges that Zuma took advantage of his position in the government to help businessman Schabir Shaik in his commercial dealings.

Shaik was convicted in 2008 to 15 years in prison for his involvement in facilitating a bribe for Zuma from French arms manufacturer Thint in exchange for political protection during the investigation into the arms deal.

Zuma's supporters argued that the initial decision to scrap the charges against Zuma was correct and should have been upheld.

However, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) has refrained from supporting Zuma, saying that people can support Zuma in a personal capacity but not as party members.

The South African Communist Party (SACP), a coalition partner of the ANC, also distanced itself from Zuma.

"We are of the view that as the SACP we really do need to respect the courts. The courts have come around to establish that this case must go ahead. We must abide by that and we won't be outside the courts this time," SACP Secretary General Blade Nzimande said before Zuma's trial.

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