South Africa's Zuma seeks to appeal ruling on influence-peddling

South Africa's Zuma seeks to appeal ruling on influence-peddling
South African President Jacob Zuma reacts during the closing address at the 54th National Conference of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) in Johannesburg, South Africa December 21, 2017. REUTERS/Rogan Ward
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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma has sought leave to appeal a court ruling ordering him to set up a judicial inquiry into influence-peddling in his government, local television channel eNCA reported on Friday.

The High Court ruled on Dec. 13 that Zuma must set up a judicial inquiry into influence-peddling within 30 days and that he should pay costs for an earlier legal challenge.

Zuma’s spokesman could not immediately comment when contacted by Reuters.

Zuma was seeking leave to appeal the High Court ruling on 20 grounds, including that he should pay legal costs, eNCA reported.

The influence-peddling inquiry was recommended in a report released a year ago by South Africa’s Public Protector, whose job is to uphold standards in public life.

Zuma also sought to block the release of the report, entitled “State of Capture”, which focussed on allegations that Zuma’s friends, the businessmen and brothers Ajay, Atul and Rajesh Gupta, had influenced the appointment of ministers.

Zuma and the Guptas have denied all accusations of wrongdoing.

The 75-year-old president has faced and denied numerous corruption allegations since taking office in 2009 and has survived several votes of no-confidence in parliament.

(Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo and Alexander Winning; Editing by James Macharia)

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