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Ex-SA president wants corruption charges dropped

 

South Africa’s former president Jacob Zuma wants corruption charges relating to a 2.2 billion-Dollar arms deal to be permanently set aside, his lawyers said on Friday.

The embattled former head of state was making his fourth court appearance since the charges against him were reinstated.

Mr. Zuma, who was ousted by the ruling ANC party in February, faces sixteen charges of fraud, racketeering and money laundering relating to a deal to buy 30 billion South Africa rand of European military hardware for the country’s armed forces in the late 1990s.

Analysts call the case a rare example of an African leader being held to account for his actions.

The seventy-six-year-old former president has continued to deny any wrongdoing.

On Friday, judge Mjabuliseni Madondo adjourned the case to May 20, 2019, giving lawyers time to prepare for a debate on whether there should be a “permanent stay of prosecution”.

Reuters reports Mr. Zuma’s lawyer Mike Hellens as saying on Friday that state prosecutors had displayed a dismissive attitude towards his client.

The beleaguered former president, wearing a black suit and red tie, was subdued in court.

Several former cabinet ministers and ANC politicians travelled to Pietermaritzburg, the capital of KwaZulu-Natal province, to support their former patron.

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