In a precedent-setting ruling, the high court in Pretoria has set aside judge Willie Seriti’s findings that there was no evidence of corruption in the arms deal, effectively neutralising one of former president Jacob Zuma’s key arguments in his fight to permanently stop his corruption prosecution.

Judge president Dunstan Mlambo and judges Dennis Davis and Mashangu Monica Leeuw said the Seriti commission, which cost taxpayers R137m, was supposed to “bring finality to a controversy which has bedevilled SA almost from the dawn of democracy”.

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