• July 19, 2021
  • No Comment

Jacob Zuma Corruption Trial Resumes Amidst Heavy Security Deployment

Jacob Zuma Corruption Trial Resumes Amidst Heavy Security Deployment

The long-running corruption trial of South Africa’s former President Jacob Zuma, whose imprisonment on a separate charge sparked days of deadly unrests and looting across the country, has resumed.

Zuma appeared virtually in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Monday, where he faces 16 charges of fraud, corruption and racketeering related to the 1999 purchase of fighter jets, patrol boats and military gear from five European arms firms when he was deputy president.

The 79-year-old is accused of taking bribes from one of the firms, French defence giant Thales, which has been charged with corruption and money laundering.

The trial began in May but has faced several postponements and delays as Zuma’s legal team sought to have charges dropped.

On Monday, the former president’s legal team petitioned for the trial to again be delayed, arguing a defendant has a right to appear in court in person. Zuma had previously physically appeared in court during the opening of the trial to proclaim his innocence.

On June 29, the former president was found guilty of contempt of South Africa’s top court for disobeying a Constitutional Court order to testify before a judicial panel conducting a separate probe of corruption during his presidency.

His imprisonment a week later sparked widespread violent protests, looting and violence in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal as well as Gauteng province that has left commercial areas ransacked and at least 200 people dead and over 2,500 arrested.

On Monday, armored vehicles and heavily armed soldiers and police were stationed outside the court amid fears the resumption of the trial would spark further violent protests, which had eased over the weekend.

Zuma, a veteran of the struggle against white minority rule, served as South Africa’s president from 2009 to 2018 before resigning under pressure from his party, the African National Congress (ANC), amid declining public support and public anger at the corruption allegations.

Once dubbed the “Teflon president”, Zuma and his backers have repeatedly dismissed scrutiny of his conduct and deny stoking the current unrest.

His lawyers are currently seeking to overturn his 15-month prison term.

Views: 1

Related post

South Africa’s Death Toll Rise To 117, 2,203 Arrested As Violence, Mass Looting Continues

South Africa’s Death Toll Rise To 117, 2,203 Arrested…

The death toll in South Africa’s unrest rose to 117 on Friday because the country called up its army reserves during a bid to quell…
Fears Of Food, Fuel Shortages Rock South Africa As Zuma Protests Escalate

Fears Of Food, Fuel Shortages Rock South Africa As…

South Africa has been rocked by violence and looting for six consecutive days, with more than 70 people killed as grievances over the…
Six Killed, Over 200 Arrested As South Africa Deploys Army To Deal With Angry Protesters

Six Killed, Over 200 Arrested As South Africa Deploys…

Deployment of troops comes after six people killed in days of protests in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. The South African military said…
0 0 votes
Article Rating
ugbettips

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments