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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 June 2005, 08:14 GMT 09:14 UK
SA's Zuma in court for corruption
South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma. File photo
Mr Zuma denies any wrongdoing
South African former Deputy President Jacob Zuma has been released on bail after appearing briefly in court on corruption charges.

Mr Zuma was sacked by President Thabo Mbeki two weeks ago after being implicated in a bribery scandal involving a French arms manufacturer.

The two charges relate to an alleged bribe Mr Zuma was given to facilitate part of a multi-billion dollar deal.

Mr Zuma has said he is innocent and welcomed his chance to clear his name.

Mr Zuma appeared briefly in the Durban Magistrate's Court and was released on R1,000 ($150) bail.

The case was postponed until 11 October, after prosecution lawyers asked for more time for their investigations.

Bail was granted on condition that witnesses "are not to be interfered with directly or indirectly", but Mr Zuma will still be allowed to travel outside South Africa while on bail.

Mr Zuma made his way through a crowd of several hundred supporters on his way to court.

More of his supporters packed the courtroom, some of them shouting "down with Mbeki".

Relationship

Mr Zuma remains one of South Africa's most popular politicians, and his supporters see his sacking by President Mbeki as part of a conspiracy.

The charges were made after Mr Zuma's former financial adviser, Schabir Shaik, was found guilty of fraud and corruption by a judge in the Durban High Court and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Schabir Shaik
Shaik's trial prompted a new inquiry into Mr Zuma's conduct
Mr Zuma says he was effectively tried by the media during Mr Shaik's trial.

Mr Zuma's lawyers will argue in court that his position has been prejudiced because he was not tried at the same time as Mr Shaik.

President Mbeki was widely praised for sacking his deputy and taking a strong line against alleged corruption.

But any evidence that comes out during Mr Zuma's trial could embarrass the government and possibly implicate other politicians from the ruling ANC party in the corruption scandal.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Watch Mr Zuma's court arrival



SEE ALSO
SA's Zuma welcomes day in court
21 Jun 05 |  Africa
Press backs Zuma sacking
15 Jun 05 |  Africa
What next for South African politics?
14 Jun 05 |  Have Your Say
Zuma: Mbeki's toughest decision
14 Jun 05 |  Africa
Zuma: Bad days for Mr Nice Guy
07 Jun 05 |  Africa

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