South Africa: Zuma asks prosecutors to drop 783 graft charges

South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday provided arguments on why he should not be prosecuted for corruption, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said.

Wednesday marks the deadline for President Jacob Zuma to make fresh presentations to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on why he should not face prosecution for corruption.

Zuma who has faced numerous corruption allegations since taking office has provided explanations to the prosecutor on why 783 counts of corruption relating to a $2 billion arms deal arranged in the late 1990s should not be reinstated.

The southern African High Court reinstated the graft charges in April 2016 and the Supreme Court upheld that decision in October, rejecting an appeal by Zuma.

The court decision has amplified calls for Zuma to step down before his term as President ends in 2019.

Zuma’s former financial advisor, Schabir Shaik, was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2005 for similar charges while Zuma escaped prosecution.

Zuma has faced a series of corruption allegations, most recently over leaked e-mails that suggest his friends may have used their influence to secure state contracts.