Court: South Africa′s Zuma should face 2009 corruption charges | News | DW | 29.04.2016
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Court: South Africa's Zuma should face 2009 corruption charges

A court in South Africa has recommended President Zuma face hundreds of charges for corruption. The head of the opposition Democratic Alliance called on prosecutors to formally indict the head of state.

The Pretoria High Court on Friday recommended South African President Jacob Zuma face the 783 charges of corruption, fraud and money-laundering that were dropped prior to assuming office in 2009.

High court judge Aubrey Ledwaba described the former national prosecutor Mokotedi Mpshe's decision to drop the charges as "irrational."

"Mr. Zuma should face the charges as applied in the indictment," said Ledwaba, according to South Africa's Independent Online news outlet.

The decision was hailed by opposition leader Mmusi Maimane of the Democratic Alliance (DA) as an "overwhelming victory for the rule of law."

"Despite it being an absolute outrage that President Zuma has, for almost six years, used taxpayers' money to bankroll his opposition to the release of the 'spy tapes,' he will be held to account as the law and due process demand," Maimane said in a statement, referring to recordings cited to drop the charges.

"President Zuma must finally come to the realization that he is not above the law," Maimane added.

Following the high court's ruling, it is the National Prosecuting Authority's (NPA) decision whether to prosecute Zuma for the charges.

South Africa's Supreme Court in March ruled that Zuma must repay the state for "non-security features" added to his private residence during a security upgrade.

In the past year, Zuma has been embroiled by several challenges, including allegations of widespread government corruption and mass protests calling for his resignation.

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