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South Africa's Zuma Holds Rally on Eve of Verdict in Rape Trial


Former South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma has held a fundraising rally on the eve of the verdict in his high-profile rape trial.

Thousands of supporters attended a concert in the Johannesburg suburb of Soweto for the 64-year-old anti-apartheid veteran.

Zuma is accused of raping a 31-year-old H.I.V. positive woman who is a longtime family friend. He claims the sex was consensual.

The trial has drawn widespread interest across South Africa and Monday's verdict (at 0700 UTC) is scheduled to be broadcast live on television.

The three-month trial has focused attention on South Africa's high incidence of rape and H.I.V. infection.

The 64-year-old Zuma was once considered a strong contender to succeed President Thabo Mbeki, who fired him because of corruption-related accusations last year.

Zuma is due to stand trial on corruption charges in July.

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