- Title: SOUTH AFRICA: ANC president Jacob Zuma faces court
- Date: 4th August 2008
- Summary: UMKHONTO WE SIZWE VETERANS MARCHING WITH BANNER "MILITARY VETERANS ASSOCIATION ZUMA SUPPORTERS CARRYING POSTERS "ZUMA IS INNOCENT" VARIOUS OF ZUMA SUPPORTERS SINGING AND DANCING
- Embargoed: 19th August 2008 13:00
- Location: South Africa
- Country: South Africa
- Topics: Crime / Law Enforcement,Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVADBUCLVSXZ7X6U0W7MJUXF6XWF
- Story Text: ANC President Jacob Zuma fights for his political future as he fights to overturn charges of corruption, fraud, money-laundering and racketeering.
Jacob Zuma, leader of South Africa's ruling ANC, appeared in court on Monday (August 4) in a bid to win the dismissal of a graft case that could stop him becoming president next year.
Zuma denies charges of corruption, fraud, money-laundering and racketeering and says he will step down if convicted. The case is likely to decide whether the African National Congress leader succeeds President Thabo Mbeki next year.
Over 1,000 Zuma supporters rallied in Pietermaritzburg at a hearing in the city's high court, hoping to stop state prosecutors putting him on trial later this year.
A long trial could mean Zuma's case overlaps with general elections in 2009, increasing political instability in Africa's biggest economy. Zuma's strong union links are a concern for some investors, who prefer Mbeki's pro-business tilt.
Zuma's lawyer, Kemp J. Kemp, argued in court that South African authorities had not followed constitutional procedures in the case. Zuma's supporters say the charges are politically motivated.
He is accused of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from French arms firm Thint and his financial advisor.
Zuma won the ANC leadership last December from Mbeki, who fired him as deputy president in 2005 after he was implicated in a corruption case in which his former financial adviser Schabir Shaik was convicted.
Charges against Zuma were dismissed for technical reasons.
But the National Prosecuting Authority charged Zuma with corruption again over the case shortly after he took over the helm of the ANC.
His supporters say the case is a conspiracy by Mbeki loyalists aimed at derailing Zuma's political ambitions.
The Pietermaritzburg hearing is expected to finish on Tuesday. If Zuma loses the appeal, he is likely to ask the Supreme Court to have the corruption case dismissed.
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