Former South African president Jacob Zuma has edged closer to coming to trial for corruption after a High Court dismissed an appeal on Friday.
Zuma, who is facing numerous corruption charges, was scheduled to stand trial on Oct. 15, but his lawyers appealed the decision.
And in a ruling Friday, the High Court in Pietermaritzburg, in Zuma’s eastern home province of KwaZulu-Natal, dismissed his appeal with costs.
The trial is now expected to go ahead next year, however, Zuma could appeal to the Supreme Court.
This would further extend the already lengthy legal saga that dates back to 1999 over alleged kickbacks in a multi-billion-dollar arms deal.
The deal, with French company Thales, was overseen by Zuma when he was vice president.
Zuma’s legal team has continued to argue that charges against the 77-year-old should be dropped due to political interference and an unreasonable delay in prosecution.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) argued that there was a clear public interest in ensuring the prosecution, and no evidence of political motivation for the charges.