The South African judge who threw out corruption charges against Jacob Zuma, the leader of the ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), has ruled that prosecutors may appeal the decision. Judge Chris Nicholson said todayhe has no difficulty allowing the appeal to go forward because he believes there are reasonable prospects of success. The judge said the appeal involves complex questions of fact and law and is of "great public importance." On September 12th, Nicholson dismissed the charges against Zuma on technical grounds. He said prosecutors had not consulted with the ANC leader before filing the charges. When the case was dismissed, the National Prosecuting Authority said it would appeal. Prosecutors had accused Zuma of money laundering, corruption, fraud and racketeering. The charges, if re-filed, could complicate his plans to run for president next year.
Meanwhile, Zuma continues his visit to the United States with more meetings in Washington, DC. He was hosted yesterday by a former U.S. ambassador to South Africa, Princeton Lyman, who is now adjunct senior fellow for Africa policy studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. English to Africa reporter Kim Lewis asked Mr. Lyman about the timing of the visit.
He said, “I think the trip was planned for some time and I think Mr. Zuma felt it was important for people in the United States get a better picture of him and what he stood for, since there was so much interest and not a lot of people in the United States were familiar with him.”
Lyman said Zuma “spoke to a very large audience at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington (Tuesday), and his remarks were broadcast live on C-Span. And then he is meeting today with the Corporate Council for Africa, a business group.” Lyman added that Zuma has been meeting with a members of the Bush administration, including U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. He has also talked with members of the public, think tanks and the business community.