From 2004 to 2018: Zuma's 14 years of dodging corruption charges are at an end

From 2004 to 2018: Zuma's 14 years of dodging corruption charges are at an end

Former president Jacob Zuma is facing 16 charges of fraud and corruption relating to 783 different payments made to him by his financial advisor, Schabir Shaik or his companies.

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The payments were made between 1995 and 2005, but the alleged corruption that Zuma was part of was ignored, until National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head, Shaun Abrahams, reinstated the charges against him on Friday, 16 March. presents a timeline of the events that have led to Zuma's appearance in court on Friday, 6 April 2018.


The national director of Public Prosecutions at the time, Bulelani Ngcuka, elected to drop a case against Zuma, though Schabir Schaik was charged with fraud and corruption.

Ngcuka admitted that although there “was prima facie evidence of corruption”, it was “insufficient” to win the case in court.


Schabir Shaik was charged over the payments and questions regarding his “bribes” to Zuma eventually led to his downfall.

Judge Hilary Squires summarised that “all the accused companies were used at one time or another to pay sums of money to Jacob Zuma.”

The final judgment of the trial mentioned Zuma’s name 471 times.


Then President Thabo Mbeki relieved Zuma of his duties as Deputy President, saying it was in “the best interests of the country.”

READ ALSO: Watch as hundreds of Zuma supporters attend night vigil in Durban


Following the Schaik trial, Zuma was officially charged with corruption, but the Pietermaritzburg High Court struck the matter off the roll.

Justice Herbert Msimang found that the state’s effort to prosecute Zuma was, from the start, “anchored on unsound foundations”.

Zuma’s legal team was unsuccessful in its attempts to have the court grant a permanent stay of proceedings, which would have effectively made Zuma immune to prosecution on those charges.


In December 2007, the Scorpions (now Hawks) indicted Zuma to stand trial on various accounts of racketeering, money laundering, corruption and fraud.


In September Judge Chris Nicholson declared the charges against Zuma were “unlawful”.

The National Directorate of Public Prosecutions did not give Zuma a chance to make representations before deciding to charge him.

Nicholson also expressed his belief that political interference played a key role in the decision to recharge Zuma.


Thabo Mbeki filed an affidavit asking for the “vexatious, scandalous and prejudicial” findings to be rectified. In the affidavit, Mbeki referred to the ANC’s decision to recall him.

The Supreme Court of Appeal ruled in January 2009 that Zuma did not have to be invited to make representations before he was charged.

In April 2009, the NPA dropped all charges against Zuma as well as one of the co-accused arm companies, following revelations of intercepted phone calls.

Zuma’s lawyers argued that the calls showed Ngcuka conspired to the political advantage of Mbeki.


In April 2016 the Pretoria High Court said that the decision to drop the charges was irrational.


On 13 October, the Supreme Court upheld the April judgement.

This ruling then led the path for charges to be reopened against Zuma, who was given until 30 November to submit reasons why his charges should not be reinstated.


Shaun Abrahams reinstated the charges in March. On 6 April Zuma will present himself in court.

READ ALSO: Zuma will keep his presidential benefits even if he is convicted

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