'Enough Proof' for Zuma Trial

POLOKWANE, South Africa -- South Africa's top prosecutor said Thursday that he had enough evidence to bring corruption charges against Jacob Zuma, the man standing in line to be the country's next president.

Mokotedi Mpshe said prosecutors would announce in the new year the next step in their investigation into the allegations against Zuma, who was elected leader of the African National Congress on Tuesday.

"The type of evidence we have so far can be taken to court," said Mpshe, who is investigating allegations Zuma accepted 4 million rand ($580 million) in bribes from French arms company Thint to stop investigations into a multibillion-dollar arms deal.

Zuma, who has consistently denied the allegations and said the case is politically motivated, said he was ready to stand trial. "If I have a case to answer, then take me to court," he said.

Zuma, whose political career so far has managed to survive sex and corruption scandals, routed President Thabo Mbeki to win the ANC presidency at a divisive party convention. Zuma loyalists also won all other top party posts.

The prosecutor's comments Thursday were likely to focus attention on the new deputy president of the African National Congress, Zuma ally Kgalema Motlanthe, who would be in line to take over the ANC -- and, presumably, its presidential nomination -- should Zuma be forced to step aside.