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South African court delays corruption trial of ex-president Jacob Zuma

South African court delays corruption trial of ex-president Jacob Zuma

A South African court granted another adjournment in former president Jacob Zuma's arms deal corruption trial, as his legal team pushes for the removal of the lead prosecutor in the long-running case. Ousted as head of state in 2018 after nine years in power, Zuma claims he is the victim of a political witch-hunt and has pleaded not guilty to charges of corruption, money laundering and racketeering over a $2 billion arms deal in the 1990s when he served as South Africa's deputy president. He alleges the lead prosecutor Billy Downer is biased against him, but the High Court and…
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South African court postpones trial of alleged parliament arsonist

South African court postpones trial of alleged parliament arsonist

A South African court postponed to May a criminal case against the man accused of torching the national parliament in January because investigators were unable to ascertain the cost of damages due to a waterlogged crime scene, prosecutors said. Zandile Mafe, arrested at the scene of the devastating fire, faces several charges including arson, theft and terrorism and was denied bail in February. Mafe denies the charges. The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said that "50 tonnes" of water in the basement of parliament first needed to be cleared for forensic investigators to determine the costs and damages - a key…
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Amazon stopped from building on sacred land

Amazon stopped from building on sacred land

A South African court has halted construction of Amazon's new Africa headquarters after some descendants of the country's earliest inhabitants said the land it would be built on was sacred. The Western Cape division of the High Court interdicted the project developer from continuing with works at the Cape Town site until there had been meaningful engagement and consultation with affected indigenous peoples. "This matter ultimately concerns the rights of indigenous peoples... The fundamental right to culture and heritage of indigenous groups, more particularly the Khoi and San First Nations Peoples, are under threat in the absence of proper consultation,"…
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SA govt ordered to clean up air in coal belt

SA govt ordered to clean up air in coal belt

TIM COCKS A South African court upheld a complaint by activists that poor air quality in the coal belt is a breach of constitutional rights, giving the environment minister a year to enforce a clean air plan drawn up a decade ago. South Africa's coal belt, east of the capital Pretoria and main city Johannesburg, is home to an estimated 3.6 million people as well as a dozen Eskom coal-fired power stations and some Sasol petrochemical plants. A spokesman for Environment Minister Barbara Creecy said she had noted the ruling by the court would study the judgment before releasing a…
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South African court postpones ruling on objection to Amazon HQ on sacred land

South African court postpones ruling on objection to Amazon HQ on sacred land

A South African court postponed a ruling on a lawsuit from descendants of South Africa's earliest inhabitants, the Khoi and San, to try to halt the construction of Amazon's new Africa headquarters on what they say is sacred land. The 70,000-square metre development in Cape Town includes plans for a hotel, retail offices and homes, and with Amazon - which employs thousands of people in data hubs in the city - its main tenant. But it has faced a backlash from Khoi and San community leaders, who say they represent the majority of their people. The Khoi and the San…
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​​South African court pushes back Zuma corruption hearing to Sept 21, 22

​​South African court pushes back Zuma corruption hearing to Sept 21, 22

A South African court pushed back to September 21 and 22 a hearing scheduled for Thursday in a corruption trial of former president Jacob Zuma linked to a 1990s arms deal. The 12-day postponement was agreed between Zuma's lawyers and prosecutors and granted by Judge Piet Koen at the Pietermaritzburg High Court. It is the latest in a series of delays in the long-running case, in which 79-year-old Zuma faces multiple charges including corruption, racketeering and money laundering over the weapons contract over which he allegedly received kickbacks. Zuma was jailed for 15 months in July for defying a constitutional…
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SA court grants delay in Zuma’s trial

SA court grants delay in Zuma’s trial

A South African court has granted former President Jacob Zuma's request for a delay in his arms deal corruption trial, and adjourned proceedings for three weeks. Zuma this month started a 15-month sentence for contempt of court, a ruling that triggered some of the worst unrest of the post-apartheid era. He is also accused of receiving kickbacks over a $2 billion arms deal from the 1990s. He pleaded not guilty in May to charges including corruption, fraud and money laundering. He has evaded prosecution for more than a decade, and portrayed himself as the victim of a politically motivated witch-hunt.…
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