Former South African President Jacob Zuma will be tried for corruption in a weapons case involving the French group Thales, after a South African court today unanimously refused to file complaints against the former head of state.
"The request (...) to abandon the case was rejected", said Judge Willie Seriti of the Pietermaritzburg High Court.
As a consequence of this decision, the former President's trial will begin on Tuesday in this South African city.
Jacob Zuma, holding power between 2009 and 2018, had called for the prosecution to be dismissed, claiming to have been victim of a "witch hunt" launched about 20 years ago in a wild case of weapon sales.
However, the South African court defended the prosecution should be kept, given the "heavy" case against the former head of state and in the name of equality before the law.
"The request of the Public Prosecution has been accepted", said Judge Seriti on Friday.
The former head of State is suspect of receiving four million rand (about 260.000 euros in current values) in bribes from the Thales defense group for favoring an arms contract of about four billion euros, which was dealt in 1999.
According to the prosecution, he was paid to prevent Thales from being accused of corruption, through his friend and financial advisor Schabir Shaik, who was sentenced for his participation in this case to 15 years in prison, starting in 2005.
Jacob Zuma and Thales have always denied these accusations.
Involved in several scandals, President Zuma resigned in 2018, having been replaced by Vice President Cyril Ramaphosa, who promised to clean up his party and the country from corruption.