[JURIST] A South African judge Wednesday gave prosecutors leave to appeal a ruling dismissing corruption charges [JURIST report] against Jacob Zuma [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], head of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) [party website]. Zuma is expected to become president after next year’s elections, although he has pledged to resign if convicted. Zuma contends the charges [JURIST report] were motivated by ANC rival and now-resigned South African president Thabo Mbeki [Guardian profile], and their initial dismissal in September exacerbated existing divisions within the party. Mbeki was forced to resign last month, and his loyalists have threatened to leave ANC to form a splinter party. Reuters has more. BBC News has additional coverage.
Zuma bested Mbeki for the ANC leadership in December 2007. He was ousted as the country’s deputy president in 2005 after an aide was convicted of corruption. He was also charged with rape, but ultimately acquitted. The pending charges, which consist of corruption, fraud, money laundering and racketeering, date back to a 1999 arms deal.