Zuma's corruption trial to resume August 10: judge

The ex-president sought to have the case postponed because of the pandemic and the recent unrest.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Former President Jacob Zuma's long-running arms deal fraud corruption trial will resume on August 10, a judge ruled on Tuesday after the ex-president sought to have the case postponed because of the pandemic and the recent unrest.

"The trial is adjourned to 10 to 13 August," Judge Piet Koen said, a day after Zuma, who faces 16 charges of fraud, graft and racketeering related to the 1999 purchase of arms from five European arms firms when he was deputy president, appeared in court virtually from his prison.

Zuma faces 16 charges of fraud, graft and racketeering related to the 1999 arms deal, when he purchased arms from five European arms firms while in his position as deputy president. He is accused of taking bribes from French company, Thales, amounting to R4 million.

Zuma appeared in court virtually from the prison where he's currently serving time for being in contempt of court.

At their last court appearance in May, both Zuma and Thales pleaded not guilty.

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The lawyers representing Zuma on Monday called for the case to be postponed.

In an application filed to the Pietermaritzburg High Court at the weekend, Zuma’s lawyer, Bethuel Thusini, said that the former president wanted to testify in person about why he should be acquitted of corruption charges without standing trial.

In the papers, Zuma has repeated claims previously dismissed by the courts.

These include that State prosecutor, Advocate Billy Downer, was biased against him and that the case had been fabricated by his political enemies.

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