South Africa’s former President, Jacob Zuma and French Arms dealer Thales will go on trial in May, the High Court ruled on Tuesday.

Zuma is facing 16 charges of fraud, graft and racketeering relating to the purchase of fighter jets, patrol boats and military equipment.

According to multiple reports, Zuma allegedly took bribes of four million rand ($270, 000) in a $3.4 billion arms deal with French aerospace and defence giant Thales in 1999 when he was the country’s vice president.

The High Court’s judge in Pietermaritzburg, Nkosinathi Chili said the matter was certified as a trial-ready and would be heard between May 17 and June 20, 2021.

However, Jacob Zuma was not present when the judge announced.

Earlier this week, the Zondo commission filed papers calling for 2 year imprisonment of Jacob Zuma after he failed to attend the commission proceedings.