Zuma's legal team to request postponement in arms deal court appearance

In July, the case was postponed to 10 August so that former president Jacob Zuma could give testimony in person.

FILE: Former South African President Jacob Zuma stands in the dock during the recess of his corruption trial at the Pietermaritzburg High Court in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, on 26 May 2021. Picture: Phill Magakoe/AFP

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on Monday confirmed that former president Jacob Zuma's legal team would apply virtually for the postponement of his court appearance following his recent hospitalisation.

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The NPA’s Mthunzi Mhaga explained the move was unavoidable, saying “As the prosecution team we are ready to argue the special plea, but these are circumstances that are beyond our control.”

Zuma has been serving 15 months in jail for refusing to abide by a Constitutional Court order that he should testify at the State Capture Commission.

He was due to appear at the High Court in Pietermaritzburg on charges of corruption related to a 1999 arms deal made with French company Thales. Zuma faced 16 counts of fraud, corruption and racketeering. The arms manufacturer was also charged after allegations of paying a R4 million bribe to Zuma.

In July, the case was postponed to 10 August so that Zuma could give testimony in person. The high court ruled that the case would be heard in open court.