Global Politics

Corruption charges dropped against Zuma

(What was the scene like at the court room?) Every time Zuma appears in court, thousands of his supporters turn out to support him. When the verdict came through, there were cheers and dancing. So it was an amazing scene. Zuma delivered a speech and sang a song when he came out of court, and that was the climax of the day. (How serious were the corruption charges against Zuma?) Pretty serious�16 charges related to a multi-billion dollar arms deal which Mr. Zuma was a key figure in from 1999. All those charges today were dismissed by the judge today. (What did the judge mean when he said the charges were politically motivated?) Well Zuma is from the ANC and has challenged Mbeke the current president also from the ANC in December of last year. Those two men have divided the ANC and people think Zuma will be the ascendant. There are some who don't want Zuma to become president and the judge must've been saying these charged stemmed from those people. (What accounts for Zuma's popularity in South Africa?) Many people feel as though they can relate to him, especially poorer people. He's closely aligned to the trade unions in South Africa. So he's got a powerful grassroots support in South Africa and that's a marked contrast to Mbeki.

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.)

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