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Zuma trial postponed pending SCA Judge President Maya’s decision

Judge Piet Koen on Tuesday morning postponed the matter to August in anticipation that Judge Maya would have made a decision by then.

Former president Jacob Zuma in court. File Picture: Theo Jeptha/ African News Agency(ANA)

Published May 17, 2022

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Durban - Former president Jacob Zuma’s reconsideration application was still on its way to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) Judge President Mandisa Maya, the Pietermaritzburg High Court heard on Tuesday.

As a result, Judge Piet Koen postponed the arms deal matter to August in anticipation that Judge Maya would have made a decision by then.

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Zuma has asked Judge Maya to reconsider Judge Koen’s ruling, in which he found that there was no reason that State Advocate Billy Downer could not continue as the prosecutor in the matter.

Zuma and French arms manufacturer Thales are facing charges of fraud and corruption related to the 1990s arms deal.

Zuma has accused Downer of being biased against him and having acted unlawfully on several occasions while handling confidential information.

In his lengthy arguments, Zuma also accused Downer of previously leaking information about his corruption trial to third and unauthorised parties, including CIA spies and some local media houses. Furthermore, he also accused Downer of leaking his confidential medical report to a journalist.

Last month, in granting the order to allow for a postponement and for Judge Maya’s decision, Judge Koen said the Superior Courts Act limited his discretion to refuse Zuma's postponement application, as it amounted to an application for leave to appeal.

"The appeal process must be allowed to run its course," Judge Koen said at the time.

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Judge Koen further stated that he could not find that Zuma's litigation amounted to an abuse of court processes, adding that the State’s argument that Zuma was embarking on a Stalingrad approach in his litigation would require further evidence.

The former head of state is facing a raft of corruption, money laundering and racketeering charges emanating from the arms deal of the late 1990s.

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