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    South African President Jacob Zuma, right, addresses the media in Pretroia, South Africa Tuesday, Sept 12, 2017 on the 40th anniversary of the death of anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko, back.

    Ex-South African Leader on Graft Charges: 'Truth to Come Out, What Have I Done'

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    Former South African President Jacob Zuma has appeared in court to face corruption charges over a 1990s arms deal totaling $2.5 billion, while a crowd of his supporters rallies outside.

    During 75-year-old Jacob Zuma's 15-minute appearance at the Durban High Court, lawyers asked for the case to be adjourned until June 8 so submissions could be prepared. The ex-president faces charges of corruption, fraud, money laundering and racketeering.

    READ MORE: Zuma Charged in South Africa, Marielle Franco Murdered in Brazil

    Zuma, who resigned in February after losing the support of his party, the African National Congress (ANC), denies any wrongdoing. He has assured his supporters, who gathered in front of the court chanting "Hands off Zuma," that he would be proven innocent.

    "The truth will come out. What have I done? I can't believe all the lies that are said about me. I am innocent until proven guilty," Zuma told the crowd.

    President of South Africa Jacob Zuma gestures during the 54th National Conference of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa December 16, 2017
    © REUTERS / Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo
    However, the opponents of the ex-South African leader think that the court trial is long overdue.

    Sixteen charges of corruption and fraud in connection with a 1990s arms deal were reinstated in 2016 after being dropped nearly a decade ago before Zuma ran for president. The former president is accused of taking bribes from France's weapons firm Thales at a time when he occupied the post of deputy president. The case prompted the opposition to repeatedly call for the resignation of the president. In December 2017, Cyril Ramaphosa replaced Zuma as the ANC leader and two months later he was forced to resign.


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