THE corruption case against South Africa’s former president, Jacob Zuma, and French arms dealer Thales related to a $2 billion arms deal has been provisionally postponed to February 23 next year, the Pietermaritzburg High Court has decided.
It is the latest delay of trial proceedings for Zuma, who faces multiple charges of racketeering, fraud, corruption and money laundering related to a case when he was deputy president in 1999. Thales and Zuma have denied any wrongdoing, with Zuma suggesting the trial was politically motivated.
The 16 charges Zuma faces were reinstated in March 2018, a month after the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party kicked him out of office after a presidency tainted by graft allegations and sovereign credit-rating downgrades.
“The matter is postponed provisionally to 23 February 2021,” Judge Nompumelelo Radebe said.
Besides the arms deal case, scandal-prone Zuma is also due to appear at an inquiry into state corruption during his nine years as South African president. Earlier this month, Zuma was ordered to re-appear at that inquiry after he abruptly left the proceedings in November. – Thomson Reuters Foundation.