Zuma birthday

Photo: GCIS / Flickr

BREAKING: Jacob Zuma corruption trial postponed to August

The High Court in Pietermaritzburg ruled on Jacob Zuma’s bid to have his arms deal case postponed and for him to testify in person

Zuma birthday

Photo: GCIS / Flickr

Is it a victory for former president Jacob Zuma? The High court in Pietermaritzburg has moved to have his corruption trial postponed to 10 August 2021. This is to allow for the adjudication of issues raised in a special plea.

Delivering judgement on Tuesday morning, 20 July 2021, presiding Judge Piet Kroen said the matter would however continue being heard virtually.

Zuma’s legal counsel, headed by advocate Dali Mpofu, had argued that he should be allowed to testify in person.

The former president is currently serving his 15-month prison sentence for contempt after being convicted by the Constitutional Court earlier in July.

A recap: His corruption trial emanates from the arms deal, which was clinched in the late 1990s, when he was still KwaZulu-Zatal’s Economic Development MEC. Zuma is accused of having pocketed bribes from French arms manufacturer Thales – in exchange for using his political influence to secure them the military defence procurement contract.

Zuma’s arms deal case: What happens next?

When the matter resumes in August, the High Court in Pietermaritzburg will hear Jacob Zuma’s bid to have the prosecutor in the case, Billy Downer recuse himself.

Arguing for the NPA, advocate Wim Trengove poured cold water over the former president’s application, and accused him of using delaying tactics to avoid facing the charges in the arms deal case.

“The accused has, for more than 10 years, taken every point in the book to avoid having his day in court. He desperately seeks to avoid answering the charges of corruption, fraud and money laundering against him. He raises objections again and again. The objections raised today were objections which were raised and decided against by the Supreme Court of Appeal in the spy tapes case and by the full bench [of the Pietermaritzburg High Court] in [Zuma’s failed bid for a] stay of prosecution,” said Trengove.