'What have I done?' - Zuma asks as corruption trial begins

Posted April 07, 2018

Zuma at the age of 75 faces at least corruption charges against him along with the charges of racketeering and fraud which includes taking bribes from a French arms manufacturer in a set of accusations that have always been with him during his political career.

While he was president, Zuma appealed that ruling.

But most South Africans see the case as bringing much-needed accountability to the country's politicians, and a more than welcome development after nine years of Zuma administrations marked by economic stagnation and widespread corruption. "But the question is, can Zuma keep himself out of court using legal machinations?" he asked.

It's a dramatic U-turn for Zuma, who just weeks ago held the highest office in the land. Zuma has also survived several motions of no confidence.

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The dispute over the fees represents a larger problem for the governing party, the African National Congress, or ANC, which must determine how strongly to back Zuma during his corruption trial.

Andrew Feinstein, a former ANC member of parliament, has long accused Zuma of corruption.

A court in April 2016 said that the NPA's decision to withdraw the charges was irrational and made under political pressure, adding that Mr Zuma should face the charges as outlined in the indictment.

"I think they are in for a proper fight".

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Businessman Siya Khoza said he admired Zuma's determination to bring in economic policies that he said were created to spread the wealth in what remains one of the world's most unequal societies.

Zuma was initially charged in 2007 while his greatest political rival, Thabo Mbeki, was president - charges that almost derailed his ambitions to succeed Mbeki.

Accused number two, arms manufacturer Thales South Africa, also meant to make representations to the National Director of Public Prosecutions on why it should not be prosecuted in the multibillion dollar arms deal scandal which first surfaced in the late 1990s.

Zuma was deputy president at the time. The chief prosecutor dropped the charges against him in 2009 after accusing his own officials of political interference.

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But the NPA last month said the bid was unsuccessful. Mr Zuma has done a lot of good for South Africa but that is being overshadowed by this case.