The Supreme Court of Appeal in South Africa has ruled on Friday that President Jacob Zuma, will face prosecution over 800 charges of corruption, relating to an arms deal bribery in 1990.
In 2016, a lower court in Bloemfontein decided to reinstate the charges that prosecutors had dropped in 2005 but Zuma challenged the court’s decision.
Reading the ruling on the matter, Eric Leach, a Supreme Court Judge, said “reasons for discontinuing the prosecution given, do not bear scrutiny.”
The opposition Democratic Alliance party in 2009 had sought to reactivate the charges over the controversial post-apartheid military contracts, in which the president was allegedly involved in.
Zuma and other government officials were accused of taking kickbacks from purchase of fighter jets, patrol boats and other arms valued at $5 billion. The military equipment were purchased from European manufacturers, including British military equipment maker BAE Systems and French company Thales.
Moreover, Zuma, who is also president of the African National Congress, ANC, is accused of corruption, fraud, money-laundering and racketeering. He however, insisted that he is innocent of the allegations.
- Ashaolu Oluwafemi