Ailing Former President Jacob Zuma’s Corruption Trial Postponed To May

Judge Piet Koen

Judge Piet Koen on Monday afternoon postponed the corruption trial against former president Jacob Zuma who failed to appear due to a “medical emergency”.

The 79-year-old Zuma, who was released on medical parole after serving a month of his 15-month sentence for contempt of court, fell ill Sunday night.

After listening to arguments from both sides in the High Court in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, Judge Koen adjourned proceedings for lunch.

When the court resumed, Judge Koen postponed the matter to 17 May – a date he said was provisional depending on whether the Supreme Court of Appeal president, Justice Mandisa Maya, makes a finding by then on Zuma’s reconsideration application.

The former president, who turns 80 on Tuesday, has so far been unsuccessful in his attempts to have prosecutor Advocate Billy Downer removed from the case.

Zuma accuses Downer of having it in for him and has since told his lawyers to initiate a private prosecution against Downer whom he accused of leaking to the press confidential medical documents.

The former president faces several charges including fraud, corruption, racketeering, and money laundering.

He is jointly charged with Thales, a French arms manufacturer, in the matter dating back to the 1999 multi billion rand arms deal.

Judge Koen said on the 17th of May a confirmation would be made on when the decades old corruption trial will begin.

It remained unclear what the “medical emergency” the former president suffered was.

However, his lawyer Advocate Dali Mpofu SC has previously disclosed that Zuma has a terminal condition.


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