The High Court in Pietermaritzburg has issued a warrant of arrest for former President Jacob Zuma.

Earlier, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) asked the Court to issue a warrant of arrest for the former president for failing to appear in court on Tuesday. State Advocate Billy Downer says it is a criminal offence for an accused not to appear in court.

The NPA has also requested the medical records of Jacob Zuma, in order to validate claims that he is sick and therefore unable to attend court proceedings.

The fraud and corruption case against Zuma and French arms manufacturer Thales is currently under way in the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

The two are facing multiple charges including corruption, money laundering and racketeering.

The charges relate to 780 questionable payments in connection with the controversial Arms Deal in the 1990’s.

State Advocate Billy Downer told the court that they agreed to Zuma’s request for a postponement to April not on the basis of his ill health, but because the appeals process has not yet been concluded.

“On the 15th of January, Mr. Zuma directed a letter to us to say that he would not be available to attend court today (Tuesday) due to the fact that he was attending to a medical treatment abroad as from the date given in January 23rd until mid-March 2020. Furthermore, they requested our consent that the matter be postponed to a date in April 2020. We replied that as far as postponement of the matter to April we don’t have a problem, we gave consent to that but not on the basis of Mr. Zuma illness at present but because the appeals process of all the parties has not been concluded.”

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