By Philips Sunday

Pretoria, (AN24) – Jacob Zuma’s appeal against a ruling that he should face almost 800 corruption charges has been quashed by a South African court sitting in Pretoria.

It would be recalled that Mr. Zuma had in April, tried to overturn a court order which states that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) should reinstate the charges that were dropped in 2009 shortly before he came to power.

The charges relate to alleged corruption, racketeering, fraud and money laundering over a multibillion-dollar arms deal.

The number one citizen in South Africa has endured growing criticism focused on South Africa’s record unemployment and poor growth rate, he has also battled several corruption scandals while in office.

Giving the ruling today, the presiding judge, Justice Aubrey Ledwaba told the high court in Pretoria, “We seriously considered whether the appeal would have reasonable prospects of success and came to the conclusion that there are no merits in the arguments.”

“The applications for leave to appeal … are dismissed.” The judge ruled.

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma
South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma

It would also be recalled in 2009, state prosecutors justified dropping the 783 charges by saying that tapped phone calls between officials in then president Thabo Mbeki’s administration showed undue interference in the case.

A decision which  cleared the way for Zuma, leader of the African National Congress (ANC), to be elected as South Africa’s president just weeks later.

The tapped phone recordings, which became known as the “spy tapes”, were kept secret until they were released in 2014 after a legal battle fought by the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA).

Reacting to the ruling of the court, the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA) hailed the court decision as a victory, and claimed the charges were automatically reinstated by the ruling.
“The prosecution against President Jacob must proceed and he must have his day in court,” it said in a statement.“The NPA must give President Zuma a date by which he is to appear in court.”