Jacob Zuma, the former president of South Africa, has been on trial for corruption charges. Jacob Zuma’s lawyers have argued that he is innocent due to a lack of evidence. Jacob Zuma was accused of receiving bribes from an arms dealer and a French company and using public funds to renovate his private residence in Nkandla.
The verdict will be announced soon, but many people expect it not to be too favorable for Jacob Zuma.
Jacob Zuma, 79, was charged with corruption in a $2.5 billion deal to buy European military hardware more than 20 years ago for the South African armed forces.
These charges come as a surprise to most people across the globe. Africa and the world at large are not known for holding their politicians accountable for corruption.
Jacob Zuma, South Africa’s ex-president, said in court that the prosecution against him was politically motivated.
“They accused government lawyers of working not to find truth but to bolster what they call a narrative of a corrupt political leader.”
Former president Jacob Zuma has disputed a court charge alleging that he accepted bribes of 500,000 Rands ($34,000) annually from French company Thales in exchange for protecting the company against an investigation into its $2 billion deal to supply combat vehicles.
The defense team is requesting that the state prosecutor be recused on the grounds of inappropriate delegations.
The prosecutor requested more time to respond, and the judge granted the request. The trial will be postponed until July 19.
Ten years ago, South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) filed corruption charges against Jacob Zuma. Shortly before he was elected president in 2018, they withdrew the charges.
Following appeals and lobbying by opposition parties, the national prosecutor reinstated the charges against him in March 2018, a month after he was ousted from office.
The ex-president has been separately prosecuted for illegally testifying before a judiciary investigation on graft. The Constitutional Court will decide whether this counts as violating his parole and warrants imprisonment.
##If Found Guilty
If the trial is successful and Jacob Zuma is found guilty, he could face a sentence of 15 years in prison.