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South Africa's Trial for Zuma's Corruption Charge is Scheduled for April Next Year

© WikipediaJacob Zuma in court
Jacob Zuma in court - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 17.05.2024
Next year will mark exactly 20 years since charges were first filed against South Africa's former president, Jacob Zuma, for his alleged involvement in the multi-billion rand procurement of weapons for the state.
The corruption trial of South Africa's ex-president Jacob Zuma was scheduled for April 14, 2025, local media reported on Thursday, citing the Pietermaritzburg High Court.
The spokesman for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), lawyer Mthunzi Mhaga, reportedly welcomed the ruling and expressed the NPA's hope for the trial to proceed promptly.

“The NPA is relieved that finally the trial date has been set [...]. We are hoping that there will be no hurdles that the NPA would have to navigate as part of delay tactics on the part of Zuma. We are hoping that all preliminary issues will be ironed out by August 29, the date set for the pretrial conference,” Mhaga was quoted as saying.

Former South African President Jacob Zuma arrives at the Pietermaritzburg High Court in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, on April 17, 2023. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 17.04.2023
South African Ex-President Zuma & Thales' Arms Deal Corruption Case Explained
The ex-statesman and head of the Umkhonto weSizwe party faces a series of accusations, including fraud, corruption, and money laundering. The proceedings were scheduled to begin in 2021, but were delayed for several reasons, such as Zuma's poor health.
One of the principal allegations against Zuma is corruption in the procurement of weapons for the country. The Strategic Defense Package, also referred to as the Arms Deal, was a significant defense acquisition initiative aimed at equipping the South African armed forces with modern arms for the post-apartheid era. It is frequently linked to extensive corruption that allegedly occurred during and after the procurement process.
The deal with French arms company Thales was signed shortly after Zuma was appointed deputy president in 1999. In 2005, the NPA brought formal charges of corruption against him. Prosecutors claimed that the firm paid Zuma 500,000 rand (more than $27,300) every year since 1999 as a bribe to ensure protection from an investigation into the military hardware supply deal.
Since then, charges against Zuma have been dropped several times and subsequently reinstated.