Former South African President Jacob Zuma will face corruption charges over a 1990s government arms deal, just over a month after he announced his resignation from office, The New York Times reports. "The announcement was the latest — though, most likely, not final — chapter in a long-running corruption case that nearly derailed Mr. Zuma's bid for the presidency, tarnished the image of South Africa's governing African National Congress, and laid the seeds of a culture of graft that has flourished in recent years," the Times adds.
The corruption charges were first filed in 2005, before Zuma was elected president, over a $2.5 billion arms deal he was involved in during the late '90s, BBC reports. Zuma's financial adviser was eventually jailed for corruption and fraud. South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority ultimately dropped charges against Zuma in 2009, before Zuma won the presidency that May.
"It's been the former president's strategy to use every legal loophole to actually avoid having his case being heard in court," argued University of Cape Town constitutional scholar Pierre de Vos. "If he has the money for lawyers, he could stay out of court forever."
Zuma was at the center of several other scandals during his nine-year tenure, with critics claiming that his friends and family profited handsomely from his presidency. He faces some 18 charges of corruption, including 783 counts of fraud, racketeering, and money laundering.