JOHANNESBURG

Former South African President Jacob Zuma withdrew his application seeking a permanent stay of prosecution for his corruption trial, his foundation said Wednesday.

“The former President of the Republic of South Africa, HE JG Zuma, welcomes the acceptance by the Constitutional Court on 28 April 2020 of his withdraw of the application for leave to appeal,” the Jacob Zuma foundation said in a statement.

Zuma filed an application with the constitutional court after losing a plea at the Supreme Court of Appeal to stop the retrial of his corruption case.

He faces a number of corruption and fraud charges in connection with a $2.5 billion arms deal in the late 1990s.

The charges were initially dropped in 2009 by former National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Mokotedi Mpshe, weeks before Zuma was elected president. However, they were reinstated in 2018.

The foundation said it hopes South Africans will finally get certainty and closure as Zuma appears in court, and learn the real beneficiaries of the arms deal.

“He (Zuma) has always sought the opportunity to clear his name before our courts,” it said.

A court issued an arrest warrant for Zuma for failing to appear at a pre-trial hearing in February.

Defense lawyer Dan Mantsha told the court the former president could not attend because he was not well and was receiving treatment in an undisclosed foreign country.

But the NPA questioned the authenticity of a medical certificate presented by Mantsha and said the document seemed to have been altered.

Judge Dhaya Pillay ruled the warrant will be effective if the 77-year-old former leader does not appear at a May 6 hearing.

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