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South Africa ex-president charged with corruption

[JURIST] South Africa's former president Jacob Zuma is facing trial over 16 charges related to corruption, South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority [official website] boss Shaun Abrahams announced [video] on Friday.

The charges include one count of racketeering, two counts of corruption, one count of money laundering and 12 charges of fraud relating to a 30 billion rand (USD $2.5 billion) government arms deal made in the late 1990s.

The charges were first brought against Zuma in 2007. The prosecution was cancelled in 2009 when charges were dropped by the National Prosecuting Authority. In 2016 the High Court reinstated the charges and the Supreme Court of Appeal determined that the withdrawal of the charges were irrational in October 2017.

The current announcement by Abrahams states that the issues should be decided by the court. Abrahams also stated that there were "reasonable prospects of a successful prosecution of Mr. Zuma on the charges listed." An application for a permanent stay of prosecution of Mr. Zuma was filed in the Cape High Court. Abrahams announced that the state attorney was instructed to oppose the application.

Zuma was urged [JURIST report] to resign in February by the African National Congress over corruption charges and social and economic issues. A South African court had denied [JURIST report] Zuma's appeal in June 2016 regarding the corruption charges.

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