Jacob Zuma won’t be in the dock for his corruption trial

The Jacob Zuma Foundation has confirmed the former president will not attend his corruption trial in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Monday.

The foundation’s spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi on Thursday said Zuma is not required to be in court.

“Zuma, by direction of the court, is not expected to appear on Monday. In fact, he won’t be attending to be clear. That is the decision.”

The former president also filed an application to the Constitutional Court to appeal the dismissal of a special plea.

During his previous appearance, Judge Piet Koen deferred the case to 1 August 2022 for a decision on Zuma’s “reconsideration” application before Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) president Mandisa Maya.

The date of 15 August 2022 was set aside as the holding date for the start of the long-awaited arms deal corruption trial.

“The adjournment is granted on the basis that if the application has been determined by 1 August 2022, and no application to the Constitutional Court is being lodged, the trial shall resume at 10 am on 15 August 2022.

“And [the trial] shall thereafter continue until 16 September 2022 and again from 7 November 2022 to 2 December 2022,” Judge Koen said in his order.

Zuma’s legal team filed the application after the SCA in March dismissed his appeal bid to have Advocate Billy Downer removed from prosecuting the corruption trial.

The appeals court based in Bloemfontein agreed with Judge Koen’s judgment in October last year, dismissing Zuma’s application for Downer to be recused from the case.

The SCA found that Zuma’s appeal had no reasonable prospects of success and there was “no other compelling reason why an appeal should be heard.”

Zuma and Downer have been embroiled in a bitter battle, with the former president wanting the state prosecutor removed, alleging that he compromised himself by leaking sensitive information about Zuma’s corruption trial.

In April, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said it was concerned by Zuma’s delaying tactics.

Zuma who turned 80 in April and French arms company Thales face several charges including fraud, racketeering and money laundering linked to the multibillion-rand arms deal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.