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Jacob Zuma & Thales back in court next week for corruption trial

Proceedings at the Pietermaritzburg High Court will happen under strict COVID-19 related regulations.

FILE: Jacob Zuma waiting to address his supporters outside the Durban High Court on 8 June 2018. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The case against former President Jacob Zuma and the Thales group is expected to resume on Tuesday.

Proceedings at the Pietermaritzburg High Court will happen under strict COVID-19 related regulations.

It has been a very long road for the former statesman and arms company Thales.

It was back in 2003 that the then National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Bulelani Ngcuka stated publicly there was a prima facie case against Zuma. But that prosecutors were only going to pursue a case against the man who allegedly bribed him, Schabir Shaik.

In the 17 years that have elapsed, Shaik has been tried and convicted and released on medical parole.

Zuma was fired by former President Thabo Mbeki as his deputy. He was elected president of the ANC and president of the country not once, but twice, and then recalled in February 2018.

All the while, the allegations that he accepted bribes from Thales when he was deputy president hung untested in the air.

Zuma has pursued a so-called “Stalingrad defence” - his counsel trying every way possible to stave off prosecution, but late last year, that road hit a dead end, and Zuma and Thales were scheduled to face the courts in May.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown presented another temporary reprieve, but now with restrictions easing, Zuma and his co-accused are expected back in court.

The case would be heard under the provisions of the lockdown regulations that stipulates adequate social distancing and the bare minimum of people allowed in court.

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