The JG Zuma Foundation has welcomed the postponement of former President Jacob Zuma and French arms company Thales’s corruption trial.
The corruption trial has been postponed in the Pietermaritzburg High Court to August 1.
This holding date was set, pending the finalisation of Zuma’s reconsideration application to the president of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).
Zuma submitted the application after the SCA turned down a petition for leave to appeal the earlier dismissal of his special plea to have the lead prosecutor – Advocate Billy Downer – recused from his trial.
The Foundation’s spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi says the trial dates that have been set now, are based on a number of assumptions.
“One is that there will be a decision from the SCA. That’s hopeful decision number one. Hopeful decision number two is that the SCA would probably dismiss again, and all of that. Hopeful number three is that even the Constitutional Court might refuse to hear us.”
In the video below, JG Zuma Foundation welcomes the postponement of the corruption case:
The proceedings on Tuesday solely focused on possible trial dates, pending applications, and the availability of counsel.
Zuma and the representative of French arms company Thales were not present in court.
Downer told the court that the prosecution was told by the registrar of the Supreme Court of Appeal that the reconsideration application is still on it’s way to the office of SCA president – Judge Mandisa Maya.
The application was filed before the 11th of April.
Judge Piet Koen said the trial is on hold while the matter is before the superior courts.
“The adjournment is granted on the basis that if the application in terms of Section 17(2F) of the Superior Courts Act has been determined before the 1st of August 2022. No application for leave to appeal to the Constitutional Court has been launched; the trial shall resume at 10:00 on 15 August 2022 and shall thereafter continue until 16 September 2022 and again from 7 November 2022 to 2 December 2022,” adds Judge Koen.
The video below is Tuesday’s court proceedings:
Meanwhile, legal expert Mpumelelo Zikalala commended Judge Koen on waiting for the SCA process to unfold.
“I think the Judge, in this case, is applying an eagle eye in this case in terms of viewing this matter in simple saying: I do not want any delays to take place. Yes, I do know there is Constitution and Criminal Procedure Act that allows him to do that, but I want to make sure that this matter is dealt with as soon as possible. [This will be] indirectly applying pressure to the SCA to say that can you then see the type of delays which are happening in our court.”
“We want to get to this matter as soon as possible. It has been years since it started. We want to ensure that we start and end within this amount of time instead of getting written reports or oral reports. They are here so that they make submissions so that they are able to eliminate any delays that may be there to ensure that the process is moving on swiftly,” adds Zikalala.
In the video below legal expert Zikalala speaks to SABC News: