Former president Jacob Zuma will be prosecuted on 16 charges of corruption, the director of South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority said.
Shaun Abrahams announced that Zuma will face charges including fraud, corruption, racketeering and money laundering.
Zuma, 75, resigned as president last month after he was ordered to do so by his party, the African National Congress.
The charges stem from a 2.5 billion dollar government arms purchase in 1999, when Zuma was deputy president. He was elected president in 2009.