Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Mike Hutchings/Reuters/African News Agency (ANA)

Durban - Former president Jacob Zuma is expected to be at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Friday to listen to the judgment on his application for a permanent stay of prosecution of his arms deal corruption charges. 

Judges Bhekisisa Mnguni, Thoba Poyo-Dlwati and Esten Steyn are expected to deliver the judgment at about 9.30 am. 

Although a large crowd of his supporters are nowhere to be seen, the presence of a contingent of journalists and Zuma’s bodyguards indicate there is a judgment to be delivered.  

Among those seen arriving at court are Zuma’s die-hard supporters including former provincial deputy speaker Meshack Radebe and former ANC secretary at the Moses Mabhida Region Mzi Zuma.

One of Zuma's close associates said "definitely baba (Zuma) will be here".

Zuma will again be in court on Tuesday for either the official scrapping of the charges or the trial depending on whether the Friday’s judgment favoured him or the National Prosecuting Authority. 

Applying for the permanent stay of prosecution, Zuma’s legal team had argued that the trial had been delayed for 15 years, and that he should have been charged together with his former financial advisor Schabir Shaik, who was convicted of the same offences. 

It had been reported that Zuma’s lawyer advocate Muzi Sikhakhane had argued in court that the charges against his client had been compromised by the allegations that the NPA had discussed the case with certain senior politicians. 

Sikhakhane’s allegations emanated from spy tapes which apparently revealed recorded conversation between former NPA head Bulelani Ngcuka and former Scorpions head Leonard McCarthy discussing the case, apparently with the aim of assisting former president Thabo Mbeki to get rid of Zuma as the country’s deputy president. 

Addressing late former Zimbabwe president’s memorial lecture in Newcastle, northern KwaZulu-Natal, on Thursday, Zuma told hundreds of ANC members that he was being persecuted because of his major role in the formation of the Brics Bank.   

“After joining Brics I came up with the idea that it should have its own bank because poor countries were getting into more and more financial trouble by borrowing from the World Bank.

“Indeed the Brics Bank was formed. I believe that the trouble that I am facing now as I have been persecuted for a long time was because these Western countries had established who came up with the idea of the Brics Bank,” he said.

Political Bureau