In South Africa, ruling ANC Party President Jacob Zuma received a
set-back Thursday in his bid to fight fraud and corruption charges against him.
The Constitutional Court, the nation's highest, has ruled against Zuma
regarding potential evidence in his upcoming trial. Barring a conviction, he's
expected to seek his party's nomination to run for national president to
replace Thabo Mbeki.
reporter Delia Robertson, who's following the story from Johannesburg, spoke to
English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua about what the court ruling
means for Zuma.
means that some 98,000 pages of evidence, which the state confiscated in raids
on Mr. Zuma's homes and also those of his legal adviser at the time, two of his
legal advisers, can be used as evidence against him in the corruption trial,
which is scheduled to get underway next week," she says.
summarizes the case against Zuma. "It flows out of the conviction in 2005 of
his former financial adviser Schabir Sheik. And it revolves around money that
was said to have been solicited by Zuma in order that he would intervene on
behalf of a company bidding for parts of South Africa's…arms deal," she says.
whether the court's decision ends Zuma's appeals, Robertson says, "On these
particular matters, yes. But he will next week seek to have the entire case
thrown out of court when his trial is due to begin in KwaZulu-Natal (Province
in) Pietermartizburg… There are also other applications pending. One in
Mauritius, another in the United Kingdom, where he is seeking to have the
release of documents to the National Prosecuting Authority blocked."
says his constitutional rights have been violated and describes his prosecution
as a political ploy to thwart his efforts to become South African president.
The trial is expected to take months.
Campaigning for next April's presidential election officially begins early next
year. However, Robertson says, "I think in the case of Mr. Zuma, the presidential
campaign began several years ago."