- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 22, 2009

JOHANNESBURG (AP) - Events in the life of Jacob Zuma, the ANC leader expected to become South Africa’s next president following Wednesday’s parliamentary vote.

_April 12, 1942: Born in Inkandla in the rural Zulu heartland.

_1959: Joins the ANC as a teenager, and just a few years later is arrested while trying to leave the country illegally. Jailed for 10 years on Robben Island, alongside Mandela.

_1975: Goes into exile. For the next decade and a half in Swaziland, Mozambique and Zambia, where he was appointed chief of the ANC’s intelligence department.

_1990: ANC unbanned and Zuma among the first leaders to return to South Africa.

_1994: After first all-race vote, serves as economic affairs minister in KwaZulu-Natal, his home province.

_1999: President Thabo Mbeki names Zuma deputy president.

_2003: Prosecutors say they have a case against Zuma, but not one they are sure they can win, and so will not prosecute. Zuma was accused of taking a 500,000-rand bribe to protect a French arms company from a government investigation into corruption. The corruption investigation centered on a 1999 deal for South Africa to buy ships, submarines, helicopters, jets and other weaponry from European and South African firms.

_2005: Fired as deputy president, but remains deputy president of the ANC under Mbeki, after being implicated in corruption trial of close friend and financial adviser Schabir Shaik. Later that year, prosecutors say they will charge Zuma with two counts of corruption.

_2006: Judge strikes Zuma’s corruption case off the roll because the prosecution is not ready. That same year, Zuma is acquitted of raping an HIV-positive family friend, although his testimony during the trial that he took a shower to prevent the risk of AIDS earned him ridicule.

_2007: Zuma beats Mbeki in ANC leadership race. Within days, Zuma is indicted on corruption charges.

_2008: Judge dismisses corruption case on procedural grounds in ruling that raises possibility of political meddling in the case. ANC responds by firing Mbeki as the nation’s president, replacing him with Kgalema Motlanthe, seen as a caretaker until Zuma can take over.

_Jan. 12: South Africa’s second-highest court rules in favor of prosecutors’ appeal, clearing way for new corruption trial.

_April 6: Nation’s top prosecutors, acknowledging case had been tainted by political meddling, drop corruption charges against Zuma and say they won’t be refiled, though they insist case is solid.

_April 19: Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid icon embraced as an elder statesman by South Africans, appears at ANC’s last major election rally alongside Zuma, providing an important endorsement.

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