Former president Jacob Zuma returns to the Durban High Court for his second appearance morning.
The former president is facing 16 charges on 783 counts related to corruption, racketeering, money-laundering and fraud relating to the controversial arms deal of the late 1990s. Jacob Zuma appeared in the dock KwaZulu-Natal High Court on Friday for the second time on corruption charges relating to a $2.5-billion (R40-billion) arms deal in the late 1990s. The National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams this week turned down a request by the 76-year-old to delay Friday’s hearing pending the outcome of a separate legal challenge over the State paying his legal fees.
In April, Zuma sat in the dock for the first time thereby making history as the first former president to sit in the dock to face criminal charges as accused number one. The matter was provisionally postponed until today to allow Zuma’s lawyers to file an application to review the decision to prosecute him again. Law enforcement have blocked off roads around the high court and have called in various units to assist with crowd control, as hundreds of Zuma’s supporters gather outside the court.
Michael Hulley told the court they’re waiting for a response from the Presidency regarding issues surrounding funding. Billy Downer says by the time the matter resumes in the Pietermaritzburg High in July, the defence should have clarified the issue regarding who will pay for Zuma’s legal fees. Judge Mjabuliseni Madondo adjourned the case to July 27 for the State and the defence to indicate whether they can commence the case. The matter will be heard in Pietermaritzburg to allow for renovations at the Durban court. Lawyers for the State said they were still ready for a trial to start in November.
Jacob Zuma has thanked those who came out to support him during his court appearance on Friday. Zuma says he won’t back down and is willing to face the 16 charges of fraud, corruption, racketeering and money laundering against him if the trial proceeds. He made a brief appearance in court earlier on Friday where the matter was postponed to 27 July 2018.