Durban - The trial of former president Jacob Zuma was adjourned on Monday to October 17 in the Pietermaritzburg High Court.
Zuma and his co-accused, French company Thales, were not expected in court. They face charges related to fraud, corruption and money laundering in connection with the arms deal that took place in the 1990s.
Zuma and Thales are also not expected to appear in court in October as this is a holding date to determine the availability of counsel for the accused.
The trial date has provisionally been set for November 7 to December 2 but this is dependent on the outcome of the decision from the Constitutional Court and again on availability of counsel for the accused.
In May, presiding officer Judge Piet Koen, postponed the case to Monday pending a decision from then Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) Judge President Mandisa Maya regarding Zuma’s application for her to reconsider his special plea in which he had asked for State advocate Billy Downer to be removed from the case. Zuma claims that Downer is biased against him.
Judge Maya declined Zuma’s application and the former president has now turned to the Constitutional Court.
Last year, the high court refused Zuma leave to appeal its dismissal of his special plea and he then petitioned the SCA itself but was unsuccessful.
The former president has now asked the Constitutional Court to reconsider Judge Maya’s decision.
On Monday, Downer told the court that there was no order from the Constitutional Court and that “we are in the same position as last time”.
“Then we were awaiting a final order from the Constitutional Court and the SCA.
“We cannot postpone to a trial date but we have to postpone to a provisional date,” Downer said.