DURBAN, South Africa– Dismissed Deputy President Jacob Zuma, was formally indicted Saturday on corruption charges involving his
financial adviser and two French arms companies.
Zuma, who retains huge support among the rank and file of the African National Congress, made his third court appearance in a scandal that has divided the governing
party and thrown open the question of who will succeed President Thabo Mbeki. He has repeatedly protested his innocence and made clear he still has his sights on the top
job, according to a report of The Associated Press.
The former freedom fighter with no formal education will go on trial in the Durban High Court on July 31. The trial, the most politically explosive in post-apartheid South Africa, is scheduled to last until mid-November.
Top ANC and parliamentary officials were present in the Durban Magistrates Court as several thousand supporters demonstrated outside Saturday, waving flags, blowing
trumpets, dancing and singing protest songs from the apartheid era. Police with sniffer dogs cordoned off the court and blocked surrounding streets as a helicopter
Zuma”s appearance lasted less than five minutes. The judge formally handed Zuma a thick document detailing the two charges against him stemming from the trial of his former financial adviser, Schabir Shaik, who is appealing a 15-year jail sentence for fraud and corruption.