16, March 2018
Jacob Zuma, South Africa’s former president, has been charged with fraud, racketeering, illegal arms dealing and much more.
Zuma, 75, resigned as president last month after he was ordered to do so by his party the ruling African National Congress (ANC).
Prosecutors said on Friday that there were 16 charges in total listed in Zuma’s indictment, including money laundering.
“I am of the view that there are reasonable prospects of a successful prosecution of Mr. Zuma on the charges listed in the indictment,” said Shaun Abrahams, head of the National Prosecuting Authority. He pointed to the “long history” of the reinstated charges against Zuma, which were thrown out by prosecutors nearly a decade ago in a contentious decision that opened the way for him to become president.
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was Zuma’s former deputy, has promised to fight corruption.
The ANC responded to the reinstated charges against Zuma, saying it had confidence in the South African criminal justice system and is committed to the idea of “equality of all before the law.” However, it emphasized and cautioned that Zuma should be “presumed innocent until and if proven guilty.”
Meantime, the ruling party urged South Africans to allow prosecutors to do their job.
In another case, South Africa’s top court ruled in 2016 that Zuma violated the constitution following an investigation of multi-million-dollar upgrades to his private home using state funds. He paid back some of the money.
In a separate case, South African authorities are seeking to arrest members of the Gupta business family, which allegedly used its connections to Zuma to influence cabinet appointments and win state contracts.
Additionally, a judicial panel is preparing to view allegations of corruption at high levels of the South African government during Zuma’s years in office.
South Africa’s main opposition party the Democratic Alliance (DA), which spent years in court trying to get trials against Zuma started, called on prosecutors to continue legal procedures against Zuma without delay.
“Now there must be no further delay in starting the trial,” said Mmusi Maimane, leader of the DA party. “The witnesses are ready, the evidence is strong, and Jacob Zuma must finally have his day in court.”
Culled from Presstv