JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Former South African president Jacob Zuma may challenge a prosecutor’s decision to reinstate corruption charges over a $2.5 billion arms deal, news broadcaster eNCA said on Saturday.
Zuma, who was forced to resign by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) last month, was at the center of a 1990s deal to buy European military kit that has cast a shadow over politics in South Africa for years.
Chief state prosecutor Shaun Abrahams told a media conference on Friday that Zuma’s attempts to head off the charges hanging over him for more than a decade had failed.
He said the 75-year-old Zuma denies all the allegations against him.
Zuma’s lawyer Michael Hulley said the reason behind Abrahams’ decision was not clear from the “one-page and somewhat terse response” received from him “advising that the representations made on behalf of Zuma were unsuccessful,” eNCA said on its news website.
“In the circumstances, the likely course of action would be to take the decision of the NDPP (National Director of Public Prosecutions) on review. The decision will however only be made after careful consideration and consultation with Mr Zuma,” Hulley was quoted as saying in a screengrabbed text.
Zuma will face 16 charges relating to 783 instances of alleged wrongdoing, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesman Luvuyo Mfaku said on Friday.
Twelve are of fraud, one of racketeering, two of corruption and one of money laundering.
Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by Andrew Bolton