South African Court Rules Zuma Must Face Corruption Charges

A South African court ruled that the decision by prosecutors to drop a corruption case against President Jacob Zuma seven years ago was irrational and should be set aside, opening the way for the 783 charges against him to be reinstated.

The then acting National Director of Public Prosecutions Mokotedi Mpshe was under pressure and made an “irrational decision” to dismiss the charges in April 2009, ignoring the importance of his oath of office that demands he acts independently and without fear or favor, Judge Aubrey Ledwaba said at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Friday, citing the ruling by a full bench of judges. Zuma should face the charges in the indictment, he said.

Prosecutors, who alleged political interference in the case against Zuma, spent eight years investigating allegations that he took 4.07 million rand ($287,000) in bribes from arms dealers and charged him with corruption, racketeering, fraud and money laundering. The Democratic Alliance, the country’s largest opposition party, has been fighting to have the charges reinstated ever since they were dropped a month before Zuma became president.

“This finding by the court is an overwhelming victory for the rule of law,” DA leader Mmusi Maimane said in an e-mailed statement.  “The National Prosecuting Authority must now immediately continue with the 783 charges of corruption so that President Zuma can

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