South African President Jacob Zuma arrives to attend the Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) during the 30th annual AU summit in Addis Ababa on January 29, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / SIMON MAINA
Former South African president Jacob Zuma is set to appear in court on April 6 to face corruption charges, police said Monday.
Zuma is accused of taking kickbacks before he became president in 2009 from the $5 billion purchase of fighter jets, patrol boats and military equipment manufactured by five European firms.
He resigned on February 14 when the ruling African National Congress party turned against him after a nine-year reign scarred by corruption allegations, an economic slowdown and diminished popularity.
“We can confirm that the summons has been served to the former president,” Hangwani Mulaudzi, spokesman for the Hawks police investigation unit, told AFP.
“The case is going to be heard on April 6 at the Durban High Court. It is the formal charging.”
Mulaudzi confirmed that the former president would have to be in court for the hearing.
Local media said Zuma’s lawyers will try to halt the case by appealing against the reinstatement of the charges, which date back to the 1990s.
Prosecutors dropped the charges in 2009 just months before Zuma became president. They said that tapped phone calls between officials in then-president Thabo Mbeki’s administration showed undue official interference in the case.