Former president Jacob Zuma has asked for his fraud and corruption trial scheduled to take place in the High Court in Pietermaritzburg on Monday to be postponed for a week.
Zuma was set to make a “special plea” to be acquitted without trial. His lawyers say he wants to testify orally as part of this plea.
In an application to the court, Zuma’s lawyers have cited violent disruptions preventing them from meeting with him as a key reason for asking for the postponement.
They are also against a digital hearing.
Below is the Zuma and the Arms Deal timeline:
Unrest following Zuma’s arrest
More than 200 people have been killed in the week of violence and looting that followed the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma.
Police Minister Bheki Cele said at the weekend that three of the alleged instigators had been taken into custody – and were not among the 12 people that authorities said they were looking for.
The riots began after the incarceration of former president Zuma, who is serving a 15-month jail term for violating a Constitutional Court order.
But the matter at the centre of contention at the moment is related to his corruption trial.
He is accused of benefitting from South Africa’s multi-billion rand arms procurement deal with French defence firm, Thales, in 1999.
Zuma has pleaded not guilty to all 16 charges against him and describes the case as a political which-hunt.
Zuma Corruption Trial | Former president pleads not guilty: