Court Reinstates Corruption Case Against Zuma

Ahead of vote, would-be S. African prez faces 16 counts of fraud
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2009 5:43 AM CST
African National Congress president Jacob Zuma speaks during the party's Manifesto pre-launch gala dinner in East London, South Africa, Friday Jan. 9, 2009.   (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
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(Newser) – Jacob Zuma, the leader of the African National Congress and the likely next president of South Africa, once again faces corruption charges after the country's top appeals court reinstated 16 counts of fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion today. The court reversed a bombshell ruling from last September that threw out the charges and ultimately led to the resignation of his rival, former president Thabo Mbeki, reports the Mail & Guardian.

The charges stem from a 1999 arms deal in which Zuma is alleged to have accepted bribes from a French company. In a scathingly worded judgment, the court found that the judge in the earlier case had "taken his eye off the ball" and delivered an "incomprehensible" decision. South Africa's current president, Kgalema Motlanthe, confirmed that Zuma would still stand as the party's candidate in this spring's election.