South African President Jacob Zuma failed on Friday in his appeal against a court ruling that corruption charges against him be reinstated. It is another setback for the leader who has been facing calls for his resignation.
The ruling puts further pressure on Zuma after a damning constitutional court judgment against him in March, and comes six weeks before local elections at which the ruling African National Congress faces a strong challenge from opponents seeking to capitalize on what they see as his mis-steps.
The court said Zuma and National Director of Public Prosecutions, Shaun Abrahams, who had appealed the earlier ruling alongside the president, had no grounds to do so.
It was not immediately clear if Zuma would appeal Friday’s ruling, but legal analysts said both he and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) could still lodge a petition to the Supreme Court of Appeal.
The hundreds of corruption charges against Zuma relate to a major government arms deal in the late 1990s.
Zuma said in April that a government investigation into the arms deal had found no evidence of corruption or fraud but critics denounced the findings as a cover-up.
ANC spokeswoman, Khusela Sangoni, declined to comment on the ruling, referring questions to the Presidency where no official could be reached for comment.