Zuma, Thales corruption trial postponed to August

The high court in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday postponed former president Jacob Zuma’s corruption trial to August 15 as the former statesman awaits the outcome of his reconsideration application from the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).

Zuma asked SCA’s Judge President Mandisa Maya to reconsider his application for leave to appeal after the high court’s dismissal of his special plea. In the special plea, he asked for the recusal of lead prosecutor advocate Billy Downer, whom he accuses of leaking his medical records.

However, the high court found that the application did not have a reasonable prospect of success. Judge Maya is yet to make a decision. According to Downer, Maya has not seen the application, has told the court that he was informed that “it is on its way”.

Meanwhile, Pietermaritzburg High Court judge Piet Koen is not happy about the postponements, but would not proceed with the trial until the outcome of Zuma’s application. In April, the trial was postponed after Zuma failed to appear because he was not well.

The Jacob Zuma Foundation spokesperson, Mzwanele Manyi, said at the time that the former president was not in a condition to be present in court because of an undisclosed medical condition.

Alongside French arms dealer Thales, Zuma faces multiple charges of fraud, racketeering, and money-laundering linked to the multibillion-rand arms deal struck back in the 1990s.

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