WATCH | What to expect when Jacob Zuma appears in court on Friday
If you're expecting former president Jacob Zuma to be tried‚ convicted and sentenced on Friday‚ then you need to read this.
"It's a first appearance and will be postponed. The reasons for the postponement will be articulated in court. It will be a brief appearance‚" said National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Luvuyo Mfaku on Thursday.
Ahead of Zuma's court appearance in the Durban High Court on 16 charges that include fraud‚ corruption and racketeering‚ South Africans have taken to social media to discuss what they assumed would happen.
These charges relate to 783 payments which he allegedly received as a bribe to protect French arms company‚ Thint‚ from an investigation into the controversial multi-billion rand arms deal. The alleged bribe was facilitated by Zuma’s former financial adviser‚ Schabir Shaik.
"I can't wait for Schabir Shaik to testify on Friday"‚ "Will Zuma get bail?" and "Zuma is going down" were some of the posts.
However there will be no witnesses in the box‚ no evidence led‚ no judgment and no one will be "going down."
"From the logistical point of view the matter has not been set down for trial so there can't be a trial tomorrow. It's the first appearance so they will then agree on a date for trial or for any other reason. But definitely tomorrow is a postponement‚" said judicial spokesman Nathi Mncube.
Last month‚ Zuma was served with the indictment and summons to appear in court after National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams announced that he would face the criminal charges that were dropped in 2009.
If Zuma has his way‚ criminal proceedings would be postponed until Abrahams’ decision to charge him is reviewed.
His lawyer Michael Hulley reportedly said a review application would be lodged and that Zuma also would need to know if he was responsible for his own legal bill before the criminal proceedings could continue.
Zuma's legal team is expected to raise the issue of the review and the request for the postponement in court on Friday.