The former president who was jailed for contempt of court faces separate charges of corruption caused by arms sales in 1999.
The prolonged corruption trial of former South African President Jacob Zuma. His imprisonment on separate charges triggered several days of Fatal riots and robberies Across the country, it has been restored.
On Monday, Zuma almost appeared in the Pietermaritzburg High Court, where he faced 16 charges of fraud, corruption, and extortion. These charges were the same as buying fighter jets and patrol boats from five European arms companies when he was Vice President in 1999. Related to military equipment.
This 79-year-old man is defendant Accepted bribes from one of the companies, the French defense giant Thales, which was charged with corruption and money laundering.
The trial began in May, but Zuma’s legal team tried to drop the charges and faced multiple delays and delays.
On Monday, the former president’s legal team requested that the trial be postponed again, arguing that the defendant had the right to appear in person. Zuma had previously appeared in court at the beginning of the trial and acquitted him.
On June 29, the former president was convicted of contempt of the Supreme Court of South Africa on charges of violating an order of the Constitutional Court and testified by a judicial team that conducted a separate investigation of corruption during his presidency.
A week later, his imprisonment triggered widespread violent protests, looting and arson in his hometowns of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, resulting in the looting of commercial areas and the death of at least 200 people.
A large number of police appeared
On Monday, fearing that the resumption of the trial would trigger further violent protests, armored vehicles and heavily armed soldiers and police were stationed outside the courtroom. Such protests eased over the weekend.
“People worry or think that Zuma’s supporters will use this hearing today as an opportunity to show their support for the former president,” Al Jazeera’s Bernard Smith reported in Pietermaritzburg.
“That’s why there are a lot of police and army stationed. A park…the place where they usually gather is also blocked.”
Despite this, Smith reported that there were almost no demonstrations at the beginning of the lawsuit.
“People can’t even get very close to (the court). This country is also experiencing a very serious COVID outbreak and is under lockdown, which may discourage some people,” he said.
Zuma is a veteran of the struggle against white minority rule. He served as President of South Africa from 2009 to 2018, and then resigned under pressure from his political party, the African National Congress (ANC). Because of the decline in public support, the public feels about corruption allegations. anger.
Zuma, once known as the “President of Teflon,” and his supporters have repeatedly denied censorship of his actions and denied that it has caused the current unrest.
His lawyer is currently seeking to overturn his 15-month prison sentence.