Former president Jacob Zuma and French arms company, Thales, have pleaded not guilty to charges of fraud and corruption in the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

State Advocate Billy Downer has told the court that they are not able to respond to the defence’s special plea on Wednesday. He has referred to the over 1 000-page special plea- that calls for his recusal- as voluminous. The former President’s defence team includes advocate Dali Mpofu.

Downer further told the court that all parties have agreed that the State needs additional time to answer through an affidavit and for a hearing to present their cases related to the special plea on July 19.

“My Lord we then perused these papers and we are hard at work drafting our answer on these papers. We have formed an attitude that the State is ready to put the charges to the accused and between my Learned Friend and the State agree that they will then tender their plea formally in court for both the accused. I must also mention that we also agreed the application in terms of 106 I H is voluminous with a thousand pages with annexes. We all agreed that the State needs time to answer by the way of affidavits.”

Former President Jacob Zuma, Thales corruption trial:

 

Meanwhile, the son of  Zuma, Edward, says he does not trust South Africa’s judicial system.

He also alleges that his family and their assets are being compromised.

“We have learnt from our father President Zuma to be strong despite the difficulties that we face, this case has taken a toll on us as a family we have been victimized and we continue to be victimized for the sake of harassing President Zuma but as a family, we remain strong. It’s an open secret that some of our bank accounts have been frozen for no apparent reason, there are many things they continue to do to us.”

Below is the full interview with Edward Zuma:

Additional reporting by Minoshni Pillay