Zuma to face trial for corruption

Former President Jacob Zuma of South Africa will be charged with 16 counts of corruption, Shaun Abrahams, South African chief prosecutor, announced on Friday.

Zuma had allegedly received payments from a controversial multi-billion rand arms deal.

The charges against Zuma include money laundering, fraud and racketeering.

“After consideration of the matter, I am of the view that there are reasonable prospects of successful prosecution of Mr Zuma on the charges listed in the indictment,” Abrahams said.

Zuma is alleged to have sought bribes from Thales to support an extravagant lifestyle. His financial adviser at the time was found guilty of soliciting those bribes in 2005 and Zuma was later sacked as deputy president.

In a controversial manner, the case was dropped and Zuma went ahead to become the president.

In 1999, the South African government announced its largest-ever post-apartheid arms deal, signing contracts totalling 30bn rand ($5bn; £2.5bn) to modernise its national defence force

The deal involved companies from Germany, Italy, Sweden, the UK, France and South Africa

Allegations of bribery over the deal dogged the governments of both Zuma and one of his predecessors, Thabo Mbeki.

In February 2018, Zuma was accused of corruption, and African National Congress (ANC), the ruling party asked him to resign.