Setback for Zuma as judges throw out court bid to block corruption charges

South African president Jacob Zuma failed on Friday in his attempt to block 800 corruption charges being brought against him. His appeal against a decision to reinstate the charges was rejected by judges at the High Court in Pretoria. The ruling is another setback for the embattled president who was found guilty earlier this year of breaking the country’s constitution and ordered to pay back millions of dollars spent on improvements to his home.

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

Judge Aubrey Ledwaba

The charges that Mr Zuma took bribes over an arms deal date back to before he became president. They were dropped in 2009 by state prosecutors who said that tapped phone calls between officials in then-president Thabo Mbeki’s administration showed undue interference in the case. That move cleared the way for Zuma to be elected president just weeks later. They were reinstated by the courts in April.