Former President Jacob Zuma will not be at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Tuesday after an agreement was reached to postpone his corruption, fraud and money laundering trial to May 17. File picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)
Former President Jacob Zuma will not be at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Tuesday after an agreement was reached to postpone his corruption, fraud and money laundering trial to May 17. File picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

Zuma to skip high court appearance

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Feb 22, 2021

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Durban - Former President Jacob Zuma will not appear in the Pietermaritzburg High Court in person on Tuesday for proceedings in his corruption trial which is due on the court roll.

The matter is expected to be postponed until May 17 after an agreement was reached between all parties.

Last December a similar agreement was made between Zuma’s defence team and the state which was was made necessary by the fact that Zuma’s co-accused, Thales, a French arms company, was still waiting for the same court to rule on whether the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) was correct to charge it with racketeering.

The court eventually ruled in favour of the NPA.

With a clear postponement on the cards, all parties agreed by mutual consent not to be present in court and have the matter formally moved to another date after a judge's consent.

This week, the Jacob G Zuma Foundation renewed calls that the corruption trial of the former president be struck off the roll.

The foundation claimed that it has learnt that the National Prosecuting Authority wants the arms deal court matter to be postponed.

In a statement issued late on Sunday, the Jacob Zuma Foundation said the state had not given any reason for the delay.

In the past, the state cited the Covid-19 lockdown as their reason for seeking a postponement, saying moving and accommodating its over 200 witnesses would be a logistical nightmare.

Zuma is accused of pocketing bribes during the 1998-1999 procurement of arms. He denies the charges against him, saying they are politically motivated.

The bribes, including a R500 000 annual retainer, were allegedly paid by his former financial adviser, Schabir Shaik, and they came from Thales, which scored some tenders to supply arms during the arms procurement process.

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