Zuma, Thales corruption case postponed to October

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The corruption case of former President Jacob Zuma and French arms company Thales has been adjourned in the Pietermaritzburg High Court to October 17.

Judge Piet Koen ordered that this would be another holding date to give the Constitutional Court an opportunity to consider Zuma’s application for leave to appeal.

After the President of the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed Zuma’s application to reconsider the application for leave to appeal in May, Zuma’s legal team lodged a similar application in the Constitutional Court in June.

Zuma is asking for the recusal of lead prosecutor, Advocate Billy Downer, due to alleged bias.

Judge Koen has pointed out that the Constitutional Court will only start its new term in August.

“My thinking at the moment is that it be adjourned to the 17th of October as a holding date pending the outcome of the application for leave to appeal to the Constitutional Court. And that depending what happens. If it has been determined by that date, the trial will then start on the 7th of November, which is roughly 2 weeks later to give everyone to get their house in order. And if the matter is still not ready to proceed by the holding date of the 17th of October, a further holding date will have to be determined. But let’s cross that bridge when we get to it.”

Meanwhile, Judge Koen ordered that neither Zuma nor the Thales representatives need to be present at the next court date, but that the matter will not be heard virtually.

This comes after a request by Advocate Thabani Masuku for a virtual hearing to minimise legal expenses.

Judge Koen says he prefers to keep the matter in court.

Monday’s court proceedings in the video below: