Jacob Zuma pleads not guilty to bribery, corruption charges

By Derek Alberts

(Bloomberg) – Former South African President Jacob Zuma, who’s being prosecuted on charges of taking bribes from arms dealers in the 1990s, pleaded not guilty in the High Court in the eastern town of Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday.

The trial is likely to be postponed until July 19, when the court will hear Zuma’s application to force state prosecutor Billy Downer to recuse himself from the case.

Zuma, 79, led South Africa for almost nine scandal-marred years before the ruling party forced him to step down in 2018 to stem a loss of electoral support. He is facing a separate trial for refusing to appear before a judicial panel that’s investigating graft, with a Constitutional Court ruling pending on whether he should be jailed.

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