Zuma’s Corruption Trial Postponed

The former President Jacob Zuma’s arms deal corruption trial has been postponed. Judge Petrus Koen, sitting the Zuma corruption trial, said all parties must come up with written reasons why the case can’t proceed online in August. Read further for more.

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The long dragging trial of the former President Jacob Zuma has been postponed to 10 August 2021.

Zuma’s lawyers proposed that the state prosecutor, Billy Downer, leading the trial is compromised and therefore can’t continue with the case. Zuma’s legal team says Downer lacks independence and impartiality to prosecute the case.

Downer was involved in the successful prosecution of Zuma’s co-accused, Shabir Shaik in 2005, when Shaik was convicted of corruption by Judge Hilary Squires. Zuma’s legal team believes that Downer has a personal interest in the case and that makes him unfit to prosecute.

Former state president Zuma, who is currently in prison, proposed to the court to wait until he’s able attend the trial in person. Judge Koen has allowed all parties until 2 August 2021 to make written submissions to why the case can’t proceed via online visuals.

It is not a clear victory for Zuma to have the trial proceeded in person, the country still battles with Covid-19 pandemic, and the Judge’s decision for virtual sitting of the case supports that purpose.

The Eyewitness Reporter Babalo Ndenze, who has been following the case, believes that Zuma is using Stalingrad tactics to avoid prosecution.

Jacob Zuma's Stalingrad strategy appears to be working if this is anything to go by.

The 20-year-old trial hasn’t yet been sited due to postponements and now the current drag is Zuma’s proposal to have the case prosecutor removed. This is also topped by Zuma asking the court to allow him to be present in person during proceedings as opposed to virtual sitting.

 

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