Page last updated at 11:22 GMT, Wednesday, 22 October 2008 12:22 UK

Legal setback for S Africa's Zuma

Jacob Zuma
Jacob Zuma is favourite to become president after elections next year

A South African judge has granted prosecutors leave to appeal against a ruling quashing corruption charges against ruling party leader Jacob Zuma.

Last month, Judge Chris Nicolson dismissed charges against Mr Zuma and suggested his rival, ex-President Thabo Mbeki, had interfered in the case.

The ruling opened the way for the governing African National Congress (ANC) to depose Mr Mbeki as president.

Mr Zuma has denied charges of graft, money-laundering and racketeering.

"I have no difficulty in granting leave on the basis that I believe there are reasonable prospects of success on appeal," Reuters news agency quotes Mr Nicholson as saying.

In his ruling last month, Judge Nicolson said the prosecution should have consulted Mr Zuma before renewing the charges, originally put on hold two years ago.

Correspondents say it is a legal setback for Mr Zuma, who is favourite to become president after elections next year.

Mr Zuma was re-charged in connection with a 1999 arms deal last December, shortly after he had beaten Mr Mbeki in a bitter fight to lead the ANC.

Mr Mbeki strongly denies that he interfered in the prosecution of Mr Zuma and has appealed against that section of the ruling.

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