Ex-South African Deputy President charged with rape Sara R. Parsowith at 8:57 AM ET
[JURIST] Former South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma [ANC profile] was charged with rape Tuesday in Johannesburg Magistrate's Court and was freed on 20,000 rand bail until the case opens on February 13, 2006. A family friend who viewed Zuma as a foster parent reported the alleged rape last month. Zuma has gained popularity due to his anti-apartheid advocacy, particularly among trade unionists and Communist Party members, but it seems unlikely that Zuma will be able to run in the 2009 presidential election in light of the rape allegations. Responding to the charges, Zuma said that he was innocent and that he took the allegations very seriously. South African advocacy group People Opposing Women Abuse [advocacy website] said the charge sends a positive message and was an example of the law applying equally, regardless of political status. Zuma is facing another trial for corruption [JURIST report] in the wake of the fraud conviction of his former financial adviser. Reuters has more. From Johannesburg, the Mail and Guardian has local coverage.
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