The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has refuted the Jacob Zuma Foundation’s statement, which accuses it of postponing the former President’s corruption trial.
Zuma faces charges of racketeering, two counts of corruption, one count of money laundering, and 12 counts of fraud relating to 783 payments he allegedly received in connection with the controversial multi-billion-rand Arms Deal.
In a statement issued Sunday night, the foundation says it doubts that the state has ever been ready for trial. However, the NPA says the matter was last postponed to Tuesday, pending the challenge to the racketeering charges by Thales.
It says when Thale’s lost its challenge and decided not to appeal it, it paved the way for the trial to proceed.
NPA Spokesperson Sipho Ngwema says Tuesday’s appearance at the High Court in Pietermaritzburg has never been set as a trial date but for the parties to resolve outstanding pre-trial matters.
Ngwema says the state is ready to start the proceedings and has indicated its earliest preferred date for trial and Thales has done the same.
“It is not true that the state versus Zuma and Thales has been postponed. The matter is scheduled for the 23rd of February. As you know that the court had postponed the matter from November to February, at the time it was to allow Thales to challenge the racketeering charges. After they lost, they then indicated that they’re not going to appeal. And therefore, the matter is scheduled for Tuesday. And in fact, there has been a suggested date between the state Thales in terms of their availability, which is May,” says Ngwema.
The video below reports on Zuma’s trial being postponed to February 23, 2021: