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South Africa’s former president, Jacob Zuma, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday in a much-postponed corruption case dating back more than two decades.
Law TV reports that Zuma faces 16 charges of fraud, graft and racketeering relating to a 1999 purchase of fighter jets, patrol boats and military gear from five European arms firms for 30 billion rand, then the equivalent of nearly $5 billion.
Zuma, who at the time was president Thabo Mbeki’s deputy, is being accused of accepting bribes totaling four million rand from one of the firms, French defence giant Thales.
Zuma was impassive as he faced the court in the eastern city of Pietermaritzburg, where numerous supporters and relatives were gathered.
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