Former president Jacob Zuma. File picture

Durban - Former president Jacob Zuma filed court papers on Friday amid panic that he would miss the deadline to apply for leave to appeal the Pietermaritzburg High Court ruling against his application for permanent stay of prosecution in the arms deal matter. 

NPA spokesperson Natasha Kara confirmed on Saturday that Zuma filed the papers exactly on the cut off date. His legal representatives would not comment. 

“I can confirm that Mr. Zuma had filed his application for leave to appeal,” said Kara. 

However, she said she did not have a clue of the Zuma’s key argument in the papers. 

“You will have to wait for Monday as the papers will be with the register of the High Court in Pietermaritzburg,” she said. 

Zuma indicated his intention to appeal the ruling, which the High Court judges judges Bhekisisa Mnguni, Thoba Poyo-Dlwati and Esten Steyn delivered on October 11. 

The high court ruling had quashed his hopes of escaping prosecution on charges of racketeering, money laundering, fraud and corruption stemming from the R30 billion Arms Deal of 1999. 

He is accused of having accepted a bribe from French arms manufacturer Thales in 2005. 

When contacted, Zuma’s spokesperson Vukile Mathaba said he was not sure if lawyers had managed to file papers before the court closed on Friday. He said he was still trying to get hold of attorney Dan Mantsha to establish if the documents had been filed.

Mantsha did not reply to text messages sent to him and he also did not answer his phone. 

When contacted, Zuma’s advocate Thabani Masuku said: “I am bound by ethics not to speak on this matter”. 

“My attorney is the only one who can give interviews and answer media inquiries. I am sorry that Mantsha is not answering. I will speak to him,” said Masuku. 

Politics Bureau