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Zuma application for leave to appeal corruption trial dismissed

The former president faces charges of corruption, money laundering and racketeering linked to a multi-billion rand arms deal.

FILE: Former President Jacob Zuma at the state capture commission on 17 July 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN.

PIETERMARITZBURG - The Pietermaritzburg High Court on Friday dismissed the application of former President Jacob Zuma and co-accused Thales for leave to appeal the court's decision which decided that they should stand trial.

This means that the corruption trial will likely proceed in 2020. The former president faces charges of corruption, money laundering and racketeering linked to a multi-billion rand arms deal.

Zuma and co-accused Thales launched their bid with the hopes that the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) would come to a different conclusion.

Last week, Zuma’s lawyers argued that the SCA may arrive at a different conclusion and Zuma may eventually be granted a permanent stay of prosecution.

However, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) opposed Zuma’s application, said the prospects of him succeeding at the appeal court were slim.

Zuma's lawyer Muzi Sikhakhane argued that the former president will be prejudiced if the case proceeds.

He argued that there had been political interference in the matter, but this argument was quickly squashed by judge Thoba Poyo-Dlwati, who said this had not been widely accepted.

His counsel has also argued that there have been too many delays and therefore the case should be dismissed, a charge dismissed by the prosecution.