]South African former President Jacob Zuma will stand trial on corruption charges relating to a $2.5 billion arms deal after court denied him a permanent stay of prosecution.
The ruling by Judge Jerome Mnguni in the Pietermaritzburg High Court paves way for Zuma’s trial to start on October 15.
Zuma, in office from 2009 to 2018, applied for a permanent stay of prosecution for 16 charges of fraud, racketeering and money laundering relating to a deal to buy 30 billion rand of European military hardware for South Africa’s armed forces in the late 1990s.
The 77-year-old denied any wrongdoing and said he is the victim of a politically motivated witch-hunt.
The charges against Zuma were originally filed a decade ago but were set aside by the National Prosecuting Authority before he successfully ran for president in 2009.
After his election, his opponents fought a lengthy legal battle to have the charges reinstated, succeeding in 2016. Zuma countered with legal challenges of his own.