South African President Zuma Challenges Ruling Over His Corruption Charges

South African President Jacob Zuma has applied for leave to appeal against a High Court ruling that corruption charges against him should be reinstated, his office said on Tuesday.

President Zuma believes the court ruling "affects him directly and is of a strong view", the Presidency said.

The president believes "the appeal has reasonable prospects of success", it added.

Ruling on a case brought by the opposition last month, the Pretoria High Court ordered the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to reconsider the more than 700 corruption charges against Zuma.

The NPA on Monday said it would appeal to the Supreme Court against the decision.

In early 1999, Zuma was charged with fraud and corruption in an arms procurement deal with European countries, worth about 30 billion rand (about 1.9 billion U.S. dollars at current rate).

The NPA withdrew the charges, citing conspiracy against Zuma, weeks before the 2009 election in which Zuma won the presidency.

The Presidency said the High Court erred in terming the NPA decision to drop the charges "irrational" in a legal case and saying the National Director of Public Prosecutions was not entitled to terminate a prosecution on the basis of misconduct and abuse of process.

It also said the court failed to properly evaluate evidence given by the president and the National Director of Public Prosecutions.

Source: Forum on China-Africa Cooperation

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