South Africa’s ex-president Zuma’s trial resumes
South African ex-leader Jacob Zuma (Photo: SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images).
SOUTH AFRICA’S former president Jacob Zuma’s long-running graft trial resumed on Monday (19).
Zuma testified from jail as the proceeding was conducted online to avoid more of the deadly unrest.
Unrest erupted in KwaZulu-Natal a day later Zuma started his 15-month jail term on July 8. Thereafter, it covered the economic hub of Johannesburg. Rioting and ransacking have claimed more than 200 lives in the country.
The total bill could reach 50 billion rand (£2.5bn), according to consultancy Intellidex.
Zuma, 79, faces 16 charges of fraud, graft and racketeering related to the 1999 purchase of fighter jets, patrol boats and equipment from five European arms firms when he was deputy president.
He is also accused of taking bribes from the French defence giant Thales, which has been charged with corruption and money laundering.
The trial started in May after numerous postponements and delays. He had proclaimed his innocence in May
On June 29, Zuma was sentenced for failing to appear at the corruption inquiry led by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo in February.
The unrest, which fell back over the weekend, was widely seen as at least partially in response to Zuma’s imprisonment.
The trial is resuming virtually to avoid more “disruption”, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) told AFP, although other court cases are also being heard online due to the pandemic.