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Zuma Appears In Court

Former president of South Africa Jacob Zuma appeared in court in Durban on April 6, 2016, to answer charges of alleged fraud, corruption, money laundering, and racketeering among others. Mr Zuma denies any wrong doing.

The former president is still very popular in South Africa, with many of his supporters reported to have held all night vigils in Durban ahead of the court hearing. His supporters have dismissed the charges against Mr Zuma, saying he is being victimized.

Notwithstanding, however, court case of ex-president Zuma is very significant in other ways.

First, it demonstrates maturity of democracy in South Africa. Second, it illustrates respect of the law in South Africa, and that nobody there, including the head of state, is above it. Third and probably most important, it provides a very good African example that could be helpful to other African countries where some leaders and high profile politicians alleged of even more serious crimes like murder, are rarely charged.

Elsewhere in the world on the same day, ex-president Park Geun-hye of South Korea was convicted to 24 years in jail for corruption. While in Brazil, a court order was issued for ex-president Luiz Lula da Silva to be arrested and taken to jail so that he can start serving a 12 year prison sentence he was given earlier for corruption charges.

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