the trial of jacob zuma arrest warrant

Photo: GCIS

Jacob Zuma in court: What will happen with his arrest warrant?

Jacob Zuma returns to court on Tuesday – for those of you wondering what happens with his arrest warrant, we have the details here.

the trial of jacob zuma arrest warrant

Photo: GCIS

The pre-trial proceedings in the illicit arms deal case are set to get underway on Tuesday morning, as Jacob Zuma returns to the dock for the first time in 2020. A highly-sanitised, socially-distanced courtroom awaits in Pietermaritzburg – as does an outstanding arrest warrant for the former president.

Can Jacob Zuma be arrested for non-attendance?

Back in February, JZ failed to attend a session, despite being legally mandated to do so. His lawyer at the time presented the court with a dubious sick-note, and the judge threw it out immediately. An arrest warrant was then issued, but it came with a rather important caveat.

Jacob Zuma would only be arrested if he failed to attend the next hearing. Initially scheduled for 6 May, the scourge of coronavirus ended up halting the judiciary. They confirmed that Msholozi’s arrest warrant would be extended until Tuesday 23 June, the same day he and arms company Thales were due back in the High Court.

Arms deal trial – what to expect on Tuesday

Effectively, Zuma’s arrest warrant will be lifted once he appears in court on Tuesday. It is conditional on him playing by the rules. The 78-year-old will then be free of the threat of detention, providing he attends at the correct time.

This session, however, may not be a very long one. There are some issues to be resolved, but it’s likely that the pre-trial hearing will adjourn quickly and make us wait another few months before we get anywhere. Yet some of the main factors that need to be thrashed out on Tuesday include:

  • Choosing the judges on the bench – a panel of three legal experts must be appointed.
  • A proper start date for the trial – this protracted saga will seek to establish a concrete time frame.
  • Why Jacob Zuma missed a previous appearance – the defence will need more than a dodgy sick-note, here.