South Africa former deputy president takes stand in defense at rape trial

[JURIST] The defense case for former South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma [party profile] opened on Monday with testimony from Zuma about his role in the African National Congress (ANC) [party website]. Zuma's motion to dismiss the rape charges [JURIST report] that he faces was refused [JURIST report] by a High Court Judge Willem van der Merwe last week. Zuma testified about his relationship with the father of the 31-year-old AIDS activist whom he is accused of raping, with whom he served time in prison for activism in the ANC.

Van der Merwe questioned the defense's argument that the charges were politically motivated; Zuma was viewed as the successor to President Thabo Mbeki [BBC profile], until he became engulfed in a corruption scandal last year. Zuma's financial advisor has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for bribery and fraud, and Zuma's own trial for corruption is set to begin in July. AFP has more. SAPA has local coverage.

 

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