South Africa's Zuma to face corruption charges over arms deal

South African President Jacob Zuma speaks in Johannesburg, South Africa, on December 15, 2017, on the eve of the ANC's 54th National Conference.
Wikus de Wet | AFP | Getty Images

Former South African President Jacob Zuma is to face corruption charges for a 30 billion rand ($2.5 billion) arms deal dating back to the late 1990s.

The announcement was made Friday afternoon by Shaun Abrahams, national director of public prosecutions at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), in Pretoria, South Africa.

"After consideration of the matter, I am of the view that there are reasonable prospects of successful prosecution of Mr Zuma on the charges listed in the indictment," Abrahams told reporters.

He added that he had informed Zuma of the decision via his lawyers. Zuma has denied any wrongdoing.

The historical charges were dropped by the NPA just before Zuma ran for the South African presidency in 2009.

Zuma was at the center of a political firestorm earlier this year, forced to resign as president by his ruling African National Congress party in February. He was replaced by his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa, who has taken a tough stance on graft within the country.

South Africa's Johannesburg Top 40 Index was close to the flat line on the announcement.