Jacob Zuma

South Africa's former President Jacob Zuma is charged with corruption linked to a 1990s arms deal. He faces 16 counts of corruption, racketeering, fraud and money laundering. The arms deal took place in 1999, the year Mr Zuma moved from being a provincial minister to deputy president. When the ANC government implemented a multi-billion rand arms acquisition programme after coming into power, the French arms company - then known as Thompson CSF - was awarded a R2.6 billion stake in 1997. This was to supply combat systems for the SA Navy. A subsidiary of the group known as 'Thint' are accused of paying to use his political influence and prevent any inquiries into their illicit deals. In 2004, Zuma became a key figure mentioned in the Schabir Shaik trial. Schabir Shaik, a Durban businessman and his financial advisor, was questioned over bribery in the course of the purchase of Valour class frigates for the South African Navy, a proposed waterfront development in Durban, and lavish spending on Zuma's residence in Nkandla. In the trial Shaik was shown to have solicited a bribe of R500 000 per annum for Zuma in return for Zuma's support for the defence contractor Thomson CSF, On 2 June 2005, Shaik was found guilty and sentenced to 15 years in prison.