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South Africa Ruling Party Leader Charged With Corruption


South African prosecutors have filed corruption charges against Jacob Zuma, leader of the country's ruling African National Congress party.

Zuma's lawyer Michael Hulley says his client will be tried in August on charges of corruption, money laundering, racketeering, and fraud.

He accused prosecutors of acting with an improper motive calculated to discredit Zuma, and of timing the charges to undermine his popular support.

Zuma was elected president of the African National Congress last week despite hints from prosecutors that they might press new corruption charges.

In 2005, Zuma was fired as South Africa's deputy president, amid accusations that he took bribes in connection with a government arms deal. He denied any wrongdoing, and the charges filed at the time were later dismissed for technical reasons.

In the ANC leadership contest, Zuma defeated President Thabo Mbeki, who fired him two years ago. The party ballot put Zuma in a strong position to succeed Mr. Mbeki in the 2009 presidential election.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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