Former President Jacob Zuma’s arms deal corruption trial has been postponed to the 21st and 22nd of September at the Pietermaritzburg High Court. Zuma has pleaded not guilty to corruption, racketeering, fraud, tax evasion, and money laundering charges. He is accused of taking bribes from French company Thales.
Zuma was granted medical parole earlier this week on his 15-month jail term for contempt of court in a separate matter.
After a virtual hearing, all parties agreed that the matter be postponed to the 21st and 22nd of September at the Pietermaritzburg High Court. The postponement was necessitated because of Zuma’s ill-health. The matter, to be heard in open court, is expected to hear the special plea application by Zuma for the recusal of State prosecutor Billy Downer accused of alleged bias against Zuma. In a brief virtual sitting all parties agreed to the adjournment.
Arms deal corruption trial postponed due to Zuma’s ill-health
Earlier, the national commissioner of correctional services, Arthur Fraser, said he stands by his decision to release former president Jacob Zuma on medical parole.
He was speaking in an interview with SABC News.
Fraser is adamant that Zuma’s medical parole is both procedurally and legally sound.
He dismissed allegations that he ignored the recommendations of the medical parole advisory board when he authorised Zuma’s release.
Arthur Fraser stands by his decision to release Zuma on medical parole
Zuma’s defense led by Advocate Dali Mpofu told the court that Zuma’s medical team and the State appointed are working together around the further assessment of his medical condition. Mpofu told the court that if a concensus is reached over the matter of Zuma’s medical condition, then the next appearance will deal with the special plea application for the recusal of State prosecutor Billy Downer.
Judge Piet Koen also ordered that if Zuma wanted to seek another postponement, evidence would be led by the defence and the state in this regard.