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South Africa Ruling Party Suspends Zuma Pending Rape Trial

South Africa's ruling party has suspended former Deputy President Jacob Zuma for the duration of his trial on a rape charge.

The African National Congress said Wednesday that it accepts Mr. Zuma's decision to voluntarily suspend his participation in party leadership structures.

The ANC said Mr. Zuma will not act or make statements as the party's number-two leader for the duration of the trial, set to start in February.

Mr. Zuma was arraigned in a Johannesburg courtroom on Tuesday. The former deputy president has denied the rape charge, filed by a 31-year-old close family friend.

Mr. Zuma, once the presumed successor to President Thabo Mbeki, faces a separate trial on corruption charges, of which he says he is innocent.

The president fired his popular deputy earlier this year after he was implicated in a corruption scandal.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.