South Africa: Zuma Facing 16 Corruption Charges

Published: 16 March 2018

Zuma copyPresident Jacob Zuma was asked by the ANC to resign on Tuesday (Photo: Matthew Jordaan, CC BY-SA 2.0)

By Katarina Sabados and Alex Cooper

Following his resignation last month, former South African president Jacob Zuma is facing 16 corruption charges connected to over 700 instances of wrongdoing, the Associated Press reported Friday. 

The head of the National Prosecution Authority, Shaun Abrahams, said Zuma’s attempts to avoid the charges against him for over the last decade had failed.

“After consideration of the matter, I am of the view that there are reasonable prospects of successful prosecution of Mr. Zuma on the charges listed in the indictment,” the Associated Press quoted him as saying.

Zuma is suspected of corruption, fraud, money laundering, racketeering and 12 other corruption-related charges, some almost two decades old.

One stems from a US$2.5 billion government arms purchase in 1999, when he was deputy president. Zuma was elected president in 2009 and has during his term faced public scrutiny and several allegations, including accepting bribes and misusing public money.

His resignation came after months of corruption speculation, and finally by demand of his party, the African National Congress, following the exposure of a planned state capture with the infamous Gupta family.

State funds that were supposed to help poor black farmers in the country were instead allegedly pocketed by the Gupta family for personal expenses. Zuma and the Gupta family deny the allegations.