Zuma’s criminal trial unlikely to get underway this year

Jacob Zuma's lawyers have explained that they still need clarity about who will pay for legal fees after the DA and EFF's court interventions.

Former South African President Jacob Zuma appeared in the Durban High Court on 8 June 2018. He is charged with 16 counts that include fraud‚ corruption and racketeering.. Picture: Felix Dlangamandla/Pool.

DURBAN - Former president Jacob Zuma's criminal trial is unlikely to get underway this year because of the pending applications related to the 16 charges against him.

Zuma sat in the dock for a second time in the Durban Magistrate's Court earlier on Friday for the corruption, racketeering, money laundering and fraud case against him.

While the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says its ready to prosecute, Zuma's lawyers have explained that they still need clarity about who will pay for legal fees after the Democratic Alliance and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)'s court interventions.

At the same time, co-accused French arms company Thales filed an application with the NPA on Thursday to have the case against it dropped.

The former president’s legal representative Michael Hulley explained to Deputy Judge President Mjabuliseni Madondo that the confusion around who will foot the bill for lawyers has caused delays.

Hulley says they’re waiting to hear from President Cyril Ramaphosa’s office.

“We’ve addressed a letter to the director general in the Presidency on 24 May and as of now we’ve not received any response.”

Hulley says they still plan to take the decision to reinstate the charges against Zuma on review.