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S.Africa's Zuma loses bid to appeal against bribe trial

29 November 2019, MVT 17:46
(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 15, 2019 South Africa's embattled former president Jacob Zuma (C) appears in the Pietermaritzburg High Court where he is appearing on corruption charges, in what would be the first time he faces trial for graft despite multiple accusations, in Pietermaritzburg. - A South African court on November 29, 2019, dismissed former president Jacob Zuma's attempts to appeal against his corruption trial related to a 1990s arms deal. (Photo by Michele Spatari / POOL / AFP)
29 November 2019, MVT 17:46

A South African court on Friday dismissed former president Jacob Zuma's attempts to appeal against a corruption trial in which he faces charges related to a 1990s arms deal.

The High Court in the southeastern city of Pietermaritzburg ruled that "Mr Zuma's leave to appeal is dismissed with costs".

Zuma filed an appeal last month ahead of the initial October 15 trial date, dragging on a case that has seen numerous legal turns over a decade and a half.

He is alleged to have taken bribes worth USD $270,000 related to a USD 3.4 billion arms deal in 1999 when he was deputy president.

In all Zuma faces 16 charges of fraud, graft and racketeering related to the purchase of fighter jets, patrol boats and military equipment when he was deputy to the country's second black president, Thabo Mbeki.

Both Zuma and French defence company Thales, which supplied equipment for navy vessels, deny the charges.

Thales's application for permission to appeal against the trial was also thrown out at the same time as Zuma's.

Both Zuma and Thales, have the option to approach the Supreme Court in their push to dodge trial, legal analyst Mphulelelo Zikalala, suggested that "the prospects of success are slim".

Zuma was forced to step down last year by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party after a nine-year reign marked by corruption allegations and dwindling popularity.

Johannesburg, South Africa | AFP

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