Major challenge

The ANC president approached the Constitutional Court, South Africa's highest court, on Tuesday in an effort to have the charges against him dropped, local media reported.

The ANC, which has ruled the country since the end of apartheid in 1994, is facing the biggest challenge to its rule to date.

The Congress of the People (Cope), a splinter faction, is set to contest the election and has won some support among the electorate.

The September ruling that initially dismissed charges against Zuma also hinted at political interference from Thabo Mbeki, then the president of South Africa.

The ANC forced Mbeki out of office over the case, leading his supporters to form Cope.