South Africa’s Zuma Admitted to Hospital Ahead of Graft Trial

Less than a week before he is due in court for a separate graft trial, South Africa’s former president Jacob Zuma was admitted to hospital on Friday

He is scheduled to attend the resumption of a long-running corruption trial on August 10.

He is accused of taking bribes from one of the firms, French defense giant Thales, which has been charged with corruption and money laundering.

The hearing will include a plea to drop 16 charges of fraud, graft, and racketeering against him related to the 1999 purchase of fighter jets, patrol boats, and equipment from five European arms firms when he was deputy president

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A statement by the Government’s Correctional Services stated that the “former president Jacob Zuma has today, 6 August 2021, been admitted to an outside hospital for medical observation”,

Zuma has been held at Estcourt prison in Kwa-Zulu Natal province since handing himself over on July 7 to serve a 15-month sentence for contempt of court.

Proceedings have been repeatedly postponed for more than a decade, sparking accusations of delaying tactics.

Zuma has already been allowed to leave prison for 24 hours to attend his brother’s funeral last month.

No reason was given for the hospitalization on Friday, apart from that it was prompted by “a routine observation”.

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Efforts to prosecute him are seen as a test of South Africa’s ability to hold powerful politicians to account.

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