The corruption trial of former South African President Jacob Zuma, 79, whose imprisonment served as a trigger for the violence that rocked the country this week killing more than 200 people, is due to resume on Monday.
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Stuck in multiple scandals and accusations of corruption, the former head of state is on trial in a bribe case dating back more than 20 years.
Former president accused of corruption by Thales
The violence began on July 9 in his stronghold of Kwazulu-Natal (East), the day after his incarceration for contempt, before spreading to Johannesburg, against a backdrop of endemic unemployment and Covid restrictions.
He was convicted at the end of June for having repeatedly refused to testify before a commission investigating state corruption under his presidency (2009-2018).
The supporters of Mr. Zuma are accused of having fomented the chaos of the last days, which President Cyril Ramaphosa has called an orchestrated attempt to destabilize the country.
The former president must answer Monday before the court of Pietermaritzburg (East), of sixteen counts of fraud, corruption and racketeering related to the purchase, in 1999, of military equipment from five European armaments companies, then that he was vice-president.
He is accused of having pocketed more than four million rand (or 235,000 euros at the current rate), in particular from the French group Thales which was one of the companies awarded the juicy contract with a global value of around 2.8 billion. euros.
The French defense giant is also being prosecuted for corruption and money laundering.
Mr. Zuma, like Thales, has always denied these accusations.
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