Cyril Ramaphosa won the leadership of South Africa’s ruling ANC last month. This positions him to succeed President Jacob Zuma, whose nine-year term has been marked by scandal and corruption. Zuma is finally to stand trial for kickbacks he may have received in a 1999 French arms sale facilitated by arms dealer Shabir Shaik. Zuma faces 783 corruption allegations in South Africa.
Little is known about the arms deal, which journalists believe was worth billions of dollars. Shabir Shaik himself was found guilty on two counts of corruption and one count of fraud in May 2005. The judge said there was an overwhelmingly corrupt relationship between him and Zuma. Shaik was jailed for fifteen years and served four.
Finally, Zuma will answer for his misdeeds and might face justice as Shaik did. A new book detailing the “cancerous cabal” that infected Zuma’s presidency is being published soon. Investigative journalist Jacques Pauw reveals the dubious corrupt connections that helped Zuma to power.
Among them was a security mogul who paid Zuma $70,000 a month to advance his interests. Zuma also may have helped a controversial manufacturer set up illegal cigarette trading in South Africa.
Many questions still swirl around Zuma’s 1999 arms deal, such as the name of the French company involved. Did the payouts mirror those in which Airbus was implicated over the years? Did Zuma actually engage in direct corruption with Airbus?
Out of the 783 counts of corruption targeted against Zuma, which ones will stand up in court?