Mr Zuma’s legal team argued there had been political interference in his prosecution. (Reuters: Mike Hutchings)
Former South African president Jacob Zuma will face trial on corruption charges after a court dismissed his application to halt the case for good.
- The charges against Mr Zuma were launched more than 10 years ago, but were withdrawn
- They were reinstated after prosecutors found they had grounds to take the matter to trial
- Mr Zuma resigned from the presidency in 2018 over a raft of separate allegations of corruption
The ruling by Judge Jerome Mnguni in the Pietermaritzburg High Court paves way for Mr Zuma’s trial to start on October 15.
It also means there will be further scrutiny of a 1999 arms deal in which Mr Zuma is accused of receiving bribes from French arms manufacturer Thales.
The charges were raised more than a decade ago, then withdrawn, then reinstated after the National Prosecuting Authority announced there were sufficient grounds to bring Mr Zuma to trial.
Mr Zuma was president from 2009 to 2018, when he was forced to resign by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party amid separate allegations of corruption linked to the controversial Gupta family.
The US Treasury Department on Thursday announced sanctions against three Gupta family members.
Mr Zuma’s legal team argued his court case had been prejudiced by long delays and there was political interference in his prosecution.
The 77-year-old has denied wrongdoing and can appeal Friday’s ruling.
While previously claiming he was the victim of a politically motivated witch hunt, he made no public statements after the decision was handed down on Friday, slipping out quietly instead of addressing a crowd of supporters as in past court appearances.
His successor, President Cyril Ramaphosa, has vowed to crack down on the widespread politcal corruption that has eroded support for the ANC, which has ruled the country since the end of apartheid in 1994.