Timeline: How Zuma beat corruption charges

Cape Town – A brief timeline of the events that led to allegations against President Jacob Zuma and the subsequent dropping of charges against him.

September 9, 1999: Patricia de Lille, now DA mayor of Cape Town but then a Pan Africanist Congress MP, tells Parliament the multi-billion rand arms deal could be suspect.

November 29, 2002: The Mail & Guardian reports Jacob Zuma is being investigated (Zuma was not president yet).

August 23, 2003: Former National Director of Public Prosecutions Bulelani Ngcuka says there is a prima facie case against Zuma, but it can't be won.

September 7, 2003: City Press runs a story headlined: 'Was Ngcuka a spy?' saying the ANC had investigated him during the 1980s on suspicion of being a spy. The Hefer Inquiry can't establish this and the claim that he misused the prosecuting authority falls away.

July 25, 2004: Ngcuka resigns.

June 2, 2005: Zuma's financial adviser, Schabir Shaik, is found guilty on two counts of fraud and one of corruption.

June 14, 2005: Former president Thabo Mbeki says he has "released" Zuma from his position as deputy president. Ngcuka's wife, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, is made deputy president.

May 8, 2006: Zuma is acquitted on a charge of rape.

September 25, 2007: Ngcuka's successor, Vusi Pikoli, is suspended by Mbeki in a row over the arrest of police commissioner Jackie Selebi. Mokotedi Mpshe becomes acting NDPP.

December 18, 2007: Zuma beats Mbeki to the post of president of the ANC.

December 28, 2007: Zuma is charged with fraud, corruption, money laundering and racketeering.

May 2008: Scorpions boss, Leonard McCarthy, claimed by Zuma's lawyers to be the man driving the prosecution against him, resigns and leaves for a job overseas.

September 12, 2008: Judge Chris Nicholson grants Zuma's application to have corruption charges dismissed and agrees there are signs of a conspiracy.

September 20, 2008: Mbeki stands down as president. Kgalema Motlanthe holds the fort until elections in 2009.

January 12, 2009: The Supreme Court of Appeals sets aside Nicholson's judgment and Zuma has to go back to the drawing board.

February 10, 2009: Zuma's lawyers start representations to the NDPP to present new reasons not to go ahead with the prosecution.

February 20, 2009: Oral representations made to the NDPP.

April 6, 2009: Mpshe announces that charges against Zuma will be dropped. He reads transcripts of phone conversations between McCarthy and Ngcuka, who at one stage says to McCarthy, "you made my day", after finding out that Zuma will be re-charged.

These phone conversations are part of the so-called "spy tapes". The DA is asking the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday for a review application of the decision to drop the charges against Zuma, arguing it was an irrational decision.

April 7, 2009: The case against Zuma is withdrawn in the High Court in Durban.

May 9, 2009: Zuma is sworn in as president.

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