Former SA president Jacob Zuma’s corruption trial to go ahead

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FORMER South African president Jacob Zuma’s court bid to permanently stop his corruption prosecution from going ahead has been dismissed with costs.

It took the high court in Pietermaritzburg less than five minutes on Friday morning to dismiss Zuma’s application for a permanent stay of prosecution.

The court also granted the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) application to strike out certain of the allegations Zuma made against it — including that prosecutor Billy Downer was driven by hatred against him — in the former president’s affidavit. The court agreed that these claims were scandalous and vexatious.

Should Zuma be convicted of the corruption, racketeering, fraud and tax-evasion charges against him, which relate to his allegedly corrupt relationship with his former financial adviser Schabir Shaik and accusations that he accepted a $34,00 a year bribe from French arms company Thales, he faces the prospect of a 25-year jail term.

The high court on Friday also dismissed Thales’s application to attack the decision to pursue the prosecution against them.

Zuma was in court on Friday. He left immediately after the ruling without any public comment.

 

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