It is not necessary to postpone Zuma's corruption trial, NPA tells court

The NPA is a respondent challenging Jacob Zuma's application to push back the trial so that the former president can also apply for a permanent stay of prosecution and testify in person as part of his plea.

FILE: Former South African President Jacob Zuma appears at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on 23 June 2020. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has argued that it was not necessary to postpone former President Jacob Zuma's corruption trial.

The NPA is a respondent challenging Zuma's application to push back the trial so that the former president can also apply for a permanent stay of prosecution and testify in person as part of his plea.

Zuma is currently following proceedings via video link from the Estcourt Correctional Centre where he is serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of court.

Earlier Zuma's lawyer, Advocate Dali Mpofu, argued that it would be a violation of his client's rights if he did not appear in court in person.

However, the State's Advocate Wim Trengrove disagreed: "We submit that because this debate is merely a debate on the paper before the court, it is entirely legitimate and lawful to have this debate on a virtual platform and we will address this at the outset."

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The NPA also said Zuma was abusing processes for asking that his corruption trial be postponed based on the "spy tapes case" issues - arguing they had already been decided by the Supreme Court of Appeal after the former president abandoned his appeal of that matter to the Constitutional Court.

Trengrove said Zuma could not bring back the case of the spy tapes saga that had already been dealt with at the Supreme Court of Appeal.

“It a recycling of old complaints and they are the very same ones which he abandoned when he abandoned his application for leave to appeal to the Constitutional Court.”

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