DA delighted that corruption case against Zuma, Thales finally going to trial

The court set the 17 May as the date for the commencement of the trial, following input from both the State and the accused.

FILE: Former South African President Jacob Zuma, along with co-accused, Thales representative Christine Guerrier, 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 - The Democratic Alliance (DA) said that it was delighted that the case against former President Jacob Zuma and French arms company Thales was finally going to trial.

Zuma and Thales face corruption, money laundering and racketeering charges linked to the multi-billion rand arms deal.

READ: Zuma, Thales corruption trial to start on 17 May

The case was heard without the accused present in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Tuesday.

The court set 17 May as the date for the commencement of the trial, following input from both the State and the accused.

The DA’s Glynnis Breytenbach said that yesterday’s decision by the court strenghtened democracy.

"It's something the DA has fought for for a decade. South Africans have been waiting for that length of time for Mr Zuma to arrive with the answers. He's kept telling us he wants his day in court, he wants to clear his name and now finally the opportunity has arrived."

ALSO READ: State says it has 217 witnesses ready to testify in Zuma-Thales corruption case

Zuma is alleged to have received multiple payments from Thales through his former financial adviser Schabir Shaik.

Shaik was controversially granted medical parole after claiming that he was terminally ill 12 years ago.

The State said that it has lined up at least 217 witnesses in the case.

The trial is expected to take place from 17 May to 20 June.

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