Supporters of ANC leader Jacob Zuma have thronged the streets outside a South African court hearing into charges that he accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes. Zuma arrived at the courthouse in Pietermaritzburg to try to stop the case going to trial, which could halt his chances of becoming president next year. He has said he will step down if convicted but denies corruption, fraud, money laundering and racketeering.
Zuma’s lawyers are arguing that the authorities have not followed constitutional procedure, and that the charges that he took money from a French arms firm, and a financial advisor, are politically motivated. Zuma deposed President Thabo Mbeki from the ANC leadership last December. Mbeki had previously fired him as deputy president when he was first implicated for corruption.