South Africa’s top court of appellation has upheld a ruling on the reinstatement of corruption charges against Jacob Zuma, who has served as the country’s president for two terms since 2009.
The Supreme Court of Appeal on Friday upheld an earlier High Court ruling to reinstate the hundreds of corruption charges that had been filed against Zuma before he became president, saying rejecting the cases was “irrational.”
On April 6, 2009, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) had dropped the 783 counts of corruption, fraud, racketeering, and money laundering leveled against Zuma, ruling that the charges against him lacked legal basis and were politically-motivated.
By setting aside the charges, state prosecutors had paved the way for Zuma’s presidency later that year. However, on April 29, 2016, the High Court in Pretoria dismissed the NPA’s decision to drop corruption charges against Zuma in 2009, reinstating the charges.
Zuma and the NPA appealed against the High Court ruling. The focus of the corruption allegations that Zuma has faced since taking office has been on alleged emails pointing to the Gupta family — business friends of the president — using their influence to secure lucrative state contracts for their companies.