State: Zuma is abusing court process in bid to postpone arms deal trial

The State on Monday hit back at former President Jacob Zuma's legal team's argument that Pietermaritzburg High Court Judge Piet Koen has no real choice but to postpone his corruption trial against the backdrop of his appeal against the outcome of his special plea.

FILE: Former President Jacob Zuma appears in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on 31 January 2022. Picture: Nhlanhla Mabaso/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The State on Monday hit back at former President Jacob Zuma's legal team's argument that Pietermaritzburg High Court Judge Piet Koen has no real choice but to postpone his corruption trial against the backdrop of his appeal against the outcome of his special plea.

It said that the former president was abusing the court process.

Zuma's counsel, Dali Mpofu SC, argued that in terms of the relevant legislation, the appeal process automatically suspended the trial leaving Koen with little to no discretion.

But Advocate Billy Downer said that was not the case in the current matter and essentially accused Zuma of trying to avoid his day in court with what he's described as "just a made-up application".

“This is the State’s submission that indeed this application currently before this court is meritless and is but one of those defences that is raised continually without any prospects of success," Downer said.

Mpofu, however, insisted that the State had not put up anything to support this position.

A decision is expected on Monday afternoon.

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