Former South African president Jacob Zuma appeared in court on Friday to face corruption charges relating to a 2.5 billion dollars arms deal, later telling a crowd he would be proven innocent in the long-running case that resurfaced after his fall from power.
Zuma’s transition from “Mr. President” to “Accused Number One” in less than two months is a significant setback for the 75-year-old, whose nine years in office were marked by economic stagnation and credit downgrades.
He faces 16 charges including fraud, racketeering and money laundering.
In a procedural appearance that lasted less than 15 minutes, state prosecutors and Zuma’s lawyers asked the Durban High Court to adjourn the case until June 8 so both sides could prepare submissions. Judge Themba Sishi approved the request.
A potential trial would take several more months to prepare.