Jacob Zuma
Former South Africa President Jacob Zuma/Photo: AFP

Immediate past president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, on Friday arrived at the Durban High Court for his second appearance on corruption charges relating to a $2.5 billion arms deal in the late 1990s.

Zuma was forced out of office by his own party, the ANC, in February.

He faces 16 counts of of fraud, racketeering and money laundering relating to the deal to buy European military hardware to upgrade South Africa’s armed forces after the end of apartheid in 1994.

State prosecutors and Zuma’s lawyers are expected to argue over a start date for the trial, a rare example of an African leader being held to account for his actions.

The national prosecutor this week turned down a request by Zuma to delay Friday’s hearing pending the outcome of a separate legal challenge over the state paying his legal fees.