Prosecutors: Ex-South African leader took hundreds of bribes

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The corruption trial of former South African President Jacob Zuma has started more than 25 years after some of the alleged offenses. Zuma pleaded not guilty to corruption, racketeering, fraud, tax evasion, and money laundering at Pietermaritzburg High Court. Among other things, Zuma is accused of taking bribes from French arms company Thales to ensure that South Africa signed a multi-billion dollar arms deal with the company in 1999 and it didn’t come under scrutiny. Thales also pleaded not guilty to charges against it. Zuma was president of South Africa from 2009 until 2018 when he was forced to resign amid multiple corruption scandals. He was deputy president from 1999-2005.