Zuma’s legal team asks court to postpone arms deal trial

The case resumed a short on Monday with Zuma not in court as he’s apparently unwell. But his counsel, Dali Mpofu SC, who was there started addressing the court on their application for postponement of the start of the trial proceedings.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Former President Jacob Zuma's legal team said that Pietermaritzburg High Court Judge Piet Koen had no real option but to postpone his corruption trial while he tried to overturn the dismissal of his special plea.

The case resumed on Monday, with Zuma not in court as he was apparently unwell. But his counsel, Dali Mpofu SC, who was there, started addressing the court on their application for postponement of the start of the trial proceedings.

Koen has already questioned whether he in fact even had the discretion to refuse a postponement.

“Do I have such a discretion where the reason for the adjournment is to exercise rights that are ordained by statute in an appeal process?” he asked

Mpofu said that he did not: "If you look at it pragmatically and realistically as an appeal that is in a process that is under Section 17, then by operation of law the underlying decision is suspended and the lordship with due difference and respect to a higher court would have to respect this in order to proceed."

WATCH: Jacob Zuma's arms deal trial gets under way