Done in 20 minutes: Zuma fraud, corruption case postponed
Former President Jacob Zuma had his day in court on Friday but if he gets his way‚ he won't be in the dock for long.
Prosecutor Billy Downer told the Durban High Court that in essence the state was ready to proceed with the corruption trial against Zuma but there were a number of preliminary issues‚ including the former president's application for a review of the decision to charge him.
He told court that both teams had consented to a June 8 adjournment to allow Zuma to deal with the review application.
Downer went on to say that the state was ready to enroll the trial to start on November 12. However Zuma's advocate‚ Hoosen Gani‚ placed on record that he was not in agreement over the proposed trial date.
Zuma faces 16 charges that include fraud‚ corruption and racketeering. These charges relate to 783 payments which he allegedly received as a bribe to protect French arms company‚ Thales‚ from an investigation into the controversial multi-billion rand arms deal. The alleged bribe was facilitated by Zuma’s former financial adviser‚ Schabir Shaik.
Former president Jacob Zuma had his first court appearance in the Durban High Court on April 6 2018, for a case laid against him by the state for corruption charges.
During the brief proceedings‚ Zuma and Thales representative‚ Christine Guerrier‚ sat side by side in the dock.
Zuma’s usual confidence disappeared after he waved at supporters in the public gallery and took a seat in the dock.
His shoulders sagged and he appeared to be tired‚ but afterwards he said he was "doing okay".
He did‚ however‚ smile when Judge Themba Sishi erroneously tried to explain the bail conditions. Zuma and Guerrier were summoned to court‚ therefore bail conditions do not apply to the pair and they are out on a warning.
Immediately afterwards‚ Zuma met his legal team for a consultation in a neighbouring courtroom.
Gani confirmed that Zuma's steadfast lawyer‚ Kemp J Kemp‚ was still part of his defence team.
While Zuma consulted‚ the National Prosecuting Authority's spokesman‚ Luvuyo Mfaku‚ told journalists that the former president would not be getting any special treatment and that he had a right to apply for a review of the decision to charge him.
He reiterated that the state was ready to proceed and was happy with the June 8 postponement.