Zuma graft trial resumes after deadly protests

The corruption trial of South Africa’s jailed ex-President Jacob Zuma resumes on Monday following deadly violence triggered by his imprisonment for contempt of court.

He is serving a 15-month sentence for failing to appear before a commission investigating corruption allegations during his tenure as president.

Protests broke out in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal and escalated to looting and arson that spread to the economic hub Gauteng, claiming over 200 lives. Three people have been arrested for allegedly instigating the violence.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said the riots were a “coordinated and well-planned attack” and called for calm.

The Monday’s trial is not directly linked to his jailing for contempt of court. It relates to a separate case of corruption related to a $5bn (£3bn) arms deal in the 1990s.

In the virtual court hearing, Mr Zuma’s legal team applied for Chief Prosecutor Billy Downer to recuse himself from the trial for allegedly leaking information to the media.

There are fears that the case will reignite tensions that had eased by the weekend.

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