Jacob Zuma won’t attend corruption trial

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Jacob Zuma won’t attend corruption trial

The Jacob Zuma Foundation said he’s been directed not to attend court on Monday. Zuma has also filed an application to the Constitutional Court to appeal the dismissal of a special plea.

FILE: Former South African President Jacob Zuma stands in the dock during the recess of his corruption trial at the Pietermaritzburg High Court in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, on 26 May 2021. Picture: Phill Magakoe/AFP
  • Jacob Zuma
  • Supreme Court of Appeal
  • Thales
  • Pietermaritzburg High Court
  • Piet Koen

DURBAN – The Jacob Zuma Foundation on Thursday confirmed that the former president will not attend his corruption trial in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Monday.

Zuma also filed an application to the Constitutional Court to appeal the dismissal of a special plea. The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) dismissed the plea, to remove prosecutor advocate Billy Downer from the case, with Zuma saying that Downer is biased.

Zuma’s corruption trial will be back in the Pietermaritzburg High Court next week Monday. During the previous appearance, Judge Piet Koen adjourned the matter, pending an outcome then expected from the SCA judge president on Zuma’s application and a planned bid in the Constitutional Court.

The foundation’s spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi said: “Zuma, by direction of the court, is not expected to appear on Monday. In fact, he won’t be attending to be clear. That is the decision.”

The allegations at the heart of the case against Zuma and his co-accused, French company Thales, find their genesis in a dodgy multi-billion rand arms deal struck with the latter in the 1990s. It’s alleged that Zuma received an annual kickback of R500,000 through his former financial advisor, Schabir Shaik, in exchange for shielding Thales from investigations.

Judge Koen has said that if the matter is not ready to proceed on Monday further dates will be determined.

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