Former president Jacob Zuma and his lawyer Daniel Mantsha look over papers while they wait for proceedings to start in the Pietermaritzburg High Court. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA)
OPINION - Yet again, Jacob Zuma has managed to outfox his enemies and give them the slip.

When the full bench of the Pietermaritzburg High Court dismissed his application for a stay of prosecution, with costs, we thought it was all over for Zuma. We just couldn’t wait to see him have his day in court, and answer to the corruption charges relating to the multibillion-rand arms deal.

We rejoiced, we celebrated and eagerly waited for the trial to begin. But it was not to be. Zuma had another card up his sleeve.

He asked for leave to appeal the court judgment, and we had egg on our face. Now the case has been postponed to February 2020. If the Supreme Court of Appeal grants him his wish, then Zuma’s troubles would be over. If the court turns him down, then he still has one last recourse: the Constitutional Court. If that fails, only then will the case proceed in February. How frustrating!

For 15 long years, the former president has been taunting us with his “catch me if you can challenge”, ducking and diving from the law, using every legal loophole and all his political influence and guile to avoid prosecution. The costs associated with his infamous “Stalingrad defence” were not an issue; they all came out of the pockets of the generous taxpayer. In all the years he’s been in and out of court, he has spent R16 million of public funds. Now he has to use his own money.

He looked a very worried man in court, but outside, he put on his signature dance. You have got to admire this man. Even in adversity, he can sing and dance (Zuma still owes Public Protector R330 000, Daily News, October 16). But it could just be an act of bravado of a desperate man fighting to stay out of jail. It could be his last dance.

T Markandan Kloof

Daily News