Jacob Zuma will be prosecuted for a long time, and now revived. Charges for corruption: the two-way: NPR



Former South African President Jacob Zuma resigns from his post in a televised address in the country last month. Now, just a month later, the besieged former leader faces 16 counts of corruption, money laundering and organized crime.

Phill Magakoe / AFP / Getty Images


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Phill Magakoe / AFP / Getty Images

Former South African President Jacob Zuma resigns from his post in a televised address in the country last month. Now, just a month later, the former leader faces 16 counts of corruption, money laundering and organized crime.

Phill Magakoe / AFP / Getty Images

Former South African President Jacob Zuma averted a large number of allegations of corruption for about a decade, meanwhile he won and served for years in his country's most elected office, but on Friday, just over a month after that Zuma resigned from the presidency under significant political pressure, those criminal charges finally reached him.

South Africa's chief prosecutor announced that he is reviving 16 charges against the veteran leader, ranging from fraud and corruption to organized crime and money laundering.

"I am of the opinion that a court of first instance would be the most appropriate forum to air these issues and decide them," Shaun Abrahams, national director of public prosecutions of the National Prosecutor's Office or NPA, said in a televised speech. "After considering the matter, I am of the opinion that there are reasonable prospects for a successful prosecution of Mr. Zuma for the charges enumerated in the indictment."

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The charges relate to an incident that dates back to the late 1990s, when Zuma, then vice president, allegedly accepted bribes during a $ 2.5 billion government arms deal with a provider of French weapons. He was charged at the end of 2007 with a series of charges related to the deal, but the NPA eliminated them in 2009, finally clearing his eventual path to the presidency.

However, last fall, while Zuma was still in office, the Supreme Court of South Africa The Court of Appeals upheld a ruling to reinstate the charges and concluded that the decision to remove them was "irrational." Abrahams said he resorted to the recommendations of a "highly experienced prosecution team," which spent the last few months reviewing the evidence and objections of Zuma's attorneys in their final decision to prosecute.

"Justice must not only be done but also must be seen to be done," Abrahams said. "I am aware that all are equal before the law and enjoy the rights to equal protection and benefit of the law."

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Zuma has long denied any wrongdoing.

As NPR Greg Myre explained last month, these accusations are not the only allegations of corruption that have been filed against Zuma. There was the pool, which according to the supreme court of South Africa was bought with government money, and which the advisers of Zuma said was in the interest of national security, which finally paid. And the same week that Zuma resigned, police raided the home of a wealthy family that has "received huge government contracts," Greg said.

For its part, his party, the African National Congress, said in a statement on Friday that it trusts the country's criminal justice system and "the constitutionally established principle of equality of all before the law."

"Accordingly, we call on South Africans in general to allow the NPA space to perform their work unhindered" said the party "we continue to affirm the inalienable right of everyone in our country, including Comrade Jacob Zuma, to be presumed innocent until proven guilty "

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