April 6 (UPI) — Former South African President Jacob Zuma appeared in court Friday to face multiple corruption charges linked to a billion-dollar arms deal in the 1990s.
After a brief preliminary hearing, the case was adjourned until June 8.
Last month, Zuma was charged with 16 counts of corruption, including fraud, racketeering and money laundering stemming from the $2.5 billion state arms deal.
The former president resigned Feb. 14 after being ousted by his own party, the African National Congress, over allegations of nearly 800 instances of wrongdoing. Cyril Ramaphosa, the only candidate nominated in South African Parliament, succeeded Zuma as president.
Zuma, 75, has denied the allegations. His legal team contends the charges are politically motivated.
Thousands of supporters rallied for Zuma as he arrived for the hearing Friday, many wearing T-shirts with the former president’s image.
The last time Zuma was in court for a trial was more than a decade ago when he faced rape charges.
That case, later dropped, drew thousands of supporters from the ANC.
Ramaphosa is attempting to distance the party from the corruption controversy to keep his governance free of another scandal.