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Jacob Zuma Must Face Corruption Trial, South African Court Rules

PIETERMARITZBURG, South Africa — Former President Jacob Zuma of South Africa will face trial on corruption charges after a court on Friday dismissed his application to halt the case for good.

The ruling means further scrutiny of a 1999 arms deal in which Mr. Zuma is accused of receiving bribes from Thales, a French arms manufacturer.

The charges were raised more than a decade ago but withdrawn, then reinstated after the National Prosecuting Authority announced that there were sufficient grounds to bring Mr. Zuma to trial.

He was president from 2009 to 2018, when he was forced to resign by the governing African National Congress amid separate allegations of corruption linked to the Guptas, a family with wide-ranging business interests. The United States Treasury Department announced sanctions on Thursday against three Gupta family members.

Mr. Zuma’s legal team has argued that his court case has been prejudiced by long delays and that there has been political interference in his prosecution.

Mr. Zuma has denied wrongdoing and can appeal Friday’s ruling. He made no public statements on Friday, slipping out quietly instead of addressing a crowd of supporters as in past court appearances.

His successor, President Cyril Ramaphosa, has promised to crack down on the widespread graft that has eroded support for the A.N.C., which has governed South Africa since the end in 1994 of the white minority rule known as apartheid.

The scandals around Mr. Zuma also severely hurt investor confidence in South Africa’s economy, the most developed in sub-Saharan Africa.

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