Mar 19, 2018 Last Updated 8:27 AM, Mar 19, 2018


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South Africa's former President, Jacob Zuma, is to face prosecution for 18 charges of corruption, the director of public prosecutions has confirmed.

They include more than 700 counts of fraud, racketeering and money laundering. He denies the charges.

Mr Zuma, 75 was forced to resign as president last month by his party, the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

He was facing his ninth no-confidence vote in parliament before he left office.

The charges against Mr Zuma relate to a 30bn rand ($2.5bn; £1.7bn) government arms deal in the late 1990s, before he became president.

Zuma's corruption charges: A brief history

  • First filed in 2005 when Mr Zuma's financial adviser, Schabir Shaik, was jailed for fraud and corruption.
  • Mr Zuma went on trial in 2006 but the case collapsed when the prosecution said it was not ready to proceed more than a year after he was charged.
  • South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) controversially dropped the charges in 2009, shortly before he won the presidency.
  • Political opponents campaigned tirelessly for him to face trial.
  • South Africa's High Court reinstated the charges in 2016 and Mr Zuma lost a Supreme Court appeal to overturn them.
  • The country's chief prosecutor, Shaun Abrahams, has now decided to pursue a case against the former president.

Mr Zuma weathered an array of corruption allegations during his nine years in power.

In 2016, a report by South Africa's anti-corruption watchdog alleged that the billionaire Gupta family had exploited their ties with him to win state contracts.

Both the Guptas and Mr Zuma deny any wrongdoing.

A woman has been mauled to death by a lioness at a private game reserve north of South Africa's administrative capital, Pretoria, a local emergency service reports.

Netcare 911 spokesman Nick Dollman said the service had responded to a call of a lioness attack in Hammanskraal town.

"Tragically, the victim had sustained severe injuries and she died at the scene," Mr Dollman said.

It is unclear what led to the attack.

Mr Dollman said that bystanders had tried to revive the victim, identified as a 22-year-old woman, by initiating CPR [cardiopulmonary resuscitation].

He did not identity the private lodge where the attack happened but said it was just outside of the Dinokeng Nature Reserve in Hammanskraal town.

The reserve describes itself as the first free-roaming residential game reserve for the "big five" African animals next to an urbanised area.

Five police officers and a soldier have been shot dead during a raid on their station in South Africa's Eastern Cape province.

In a statement, the South African Government News Agency said three officers were killed instantly.

The off-duty soldier was shot as the assailants fled, taking two other officers hostage. Their bodies were found 6km (4 miles) down the road.

A government statement said both men had been shot "execution style".

The unknown group of armed robbers burst into the police station near Mthatha, and opened fire early on Wednesday morning.

Police do not yet know the motive for the attack. The suspects are believed to have robbed a cash machine shortly before. They took 10 firearms and a police van from the station.

Gen Khehla John Sitole, National Commissioner of the South African Police Service, has vowed to find the killers, saying he was "appalled and deeply saddened by the cold and callous attack".

People on social media have been sharing their dismay at the attack.

One Facebook user, who was a family friend of the soldier killed, said: "An attack to the law enforcement institutions is an attack to the safety and security of our communities.

"This is a shock for the community. We now live in fear. If they can attack the people meant to protect the community‚ who are we? Who will we turn to?"

The BBC's South Africa correspondent Milton Nkosi says that before this attack, research found the killings of police officers had dropped by 52% since the end of apartheid in 1994.

South Africa readied to welcome Cyril Ramaphose as its new president on Thursday after scandal-tainted Jacob Zuma resigned under intense pressure from his own party.

Zuma announced he had stepped down in a late-night television address in which he took some digs at the African National Congress (ANC) party that had threatened to oust him via a parliamentary no-confidence vote.

In a 30-minute speech, Zuma said he had "come to the decision to resign as president of the republic with immediate effect".

"I have only asked my party to articulate my transgressions and the reason for its immediate instruction that I vacate office," he said.

Zuma (75) has been in a lengthy power struggle with Ramaphosa, the deputy president.

Ramaphosa, who won control of the ANC when he was elected as its head in December, is likely to be voted in by Parliament as South Africa's new president on Thursday or Friday.

Political analyst Dumisani Hlophe said the inclination is that Ramaphosa is likely to appoint a woman as his deputy.

"My gut feel is that it's likely to be a woman. My suspicion is it could be the likes of Lindiwe Sisulu or Naledi Pandor," he said.

"It wouldn't make sense to put Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma there simply because she contested."

Hlophe said many MPs are likely to face the chop.

Political analyst Khaya Sithole told eNCA's Dan Moyane that Ramaphosa must reshuffle the cabinet to start on a clean slate.

Sithole said he thinks Lindiwe Sisulu is the obvious choice for a deputy president.

South Africa has declared the drought which has seen Cape Town hurtling towards "Day Zero" a national disaster.

The government made the announcement after reassessing the "magnitude and severity" of the three-year drought.

It has badly affected three of the country's nine provinces.

The decision came as Cape Town announced its water saving measures, which require each citizen to use less than 50 litres a day, had successfully pushed back "Day Zero" to 4 June.

Just a matter of weeks ago, the date that Cape Town's taps were predicted to run dry was 12 April.

Mmusi Maimane, leader of South Africa's Democratic Alliance (DA), which runs both the city of Cape Town and Western Cape province, tweeted:

In another tweet, he revealed the average water use in Cape Town, a city of about four million people, was below 550 million litres. Two years ago, it was at more than a billion litres per day.

It has been no easy task for Cape Town's residents. The 50 litre limit is just enough for a very short shower and one flush of the toilet a day when other needs - including just one load of the washing machine a week - are taken into account.

However, the decision to declare a national disaster means the central government - which is run by the African National Congress (ANC) - will now take responsibility for relief efforts.

According to South African news website eNCA, the co-operative governance minister Des van Rooyen said last week more than 70m rand (£4.2m; $5.8m) had been put aside to tackle the crisis in the Western Cape, as well as in the Eastern Cape and Northern Cape, two provinces which have garnered less headlines, but are also struggling with the effects of the drought.

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