The legal team of former President Jacob Zuma remained mum on whether or not they have filed their appeal papers before the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Thursday. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)

Durban - The legal team of former President Jacob Zuma remained mum on whether or not they have filed their appeal papers before the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Thursday. 

Questions sent to his lead advocate Dan Mantsha were not answered. Zuma’s three-person legal team which includes Advocate Thobani Masuku SC (senior counsel) and Mpilo Sikhakhane has to file the appeal papers by Friday, November 1, 2019 to allow the appeal to be heard on November 22. 

They have to state why the court must grant him leave to appeal an October 11, 2019 ruling which said he must face prosecution for corruption. The corruption, fraud and money laundering charges stems from the R30 billion Arms Deal of 1999. 

In that case, it was alleged he received kickbacks from co-accused French arms company Thales. 

The company allegedly paid him R500 000 which was moved via companies owned by Schabir Shaik. Shaik was convicted in 2005 for those offences. 

Arguing before the Pietermaritzburg High Court on October 15, one of Zuma's lead lawyers Advocate Masuku SC said the legal team was ready to proceed with the case but would still like to exercise the right to appeal.  

Appearing for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Advocate Billy Downer indicated that they would oppose the appeal as they want the prosecution to start immediately.  

Speaking to Independent Media three weeks ago, constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos said Zuma’s prospects of success were very slim as most of the arguments that he has previously advanced in his court battles have already been dismissed. This is despite Zuma’s optimism to his supporters, in an address outside the court, that a higher court can reach a different decision. 

Political Bureau