Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Former South Africa President Jacob Zuma withdraws court appeal in corruption trial

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Former President Jacob Zuma has withdrawn his Constitutional Court application for a stay of prosecution for alleged corruption related to the infamous arms deal.

The JG Zuma Foundation issued a statement confirming that the former head of state would have his day in court.

Jacob Zuma drops application against corruption trial

Zuma skipped a court appearance in February, citing illness and has launched multiple legal challenges to thwart the case but he now claims, through his foundation, that he wants to clear his name in court. He faces twelve charges of fraud, one of racketeering, two of corruption and one of money laundering

The foundation’s statement declared: “This indeed paves the way for him to prepare for the trial and demonstrate that he has never benefited from any Arms Deal corruption or tried to evade the trial.

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“He hopes that his innocence will indeed be demonstrated for all to see.”

The popular former ANC leader thanked his throngs of loyal supporters for their unwavering support.

[su_quote] “He appreciates the support he continues to receive from the citizens of this country and expresses his unreserved respect for the judiciary and other relevant state institutions. [/su_quote]

“[He hopes] that our citizens will finally get some certainty and closure as to the real beneficiaries of the Arms Deal if any corruption in that regard did occur.

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“He has always sought the opportunity to clear his name before our courts.”

[su_quote] The foundation referred any further queries to the former president’s attorney’s. [/su_quote]

Jacob Zuma’s change of heart and a change of attorneys

On 19 April 2020, it was revealed that Zuma had fired his attorney Daniel Mantsha and appointed prominent lawyer Eric Mabuza.

Zuma had seen a previous stay of prosecution application, to the Pietermaritzburg High Court, dismissed in November 2019.

The former president’s legal team argued that, due to an unreasonable delay in the commencement of the proceedings, it would not be possible to receive a fair trial.

Judges Jerome Mnguni, Esther Steyn and Thoba Poyo-Dlwati found that there were no compelling reasons to grant a stay.

The case had been set to resume on 6 May, but it is unclear if the ongoing national lockdown will have any effect on the proceedings.

In February, the Pietermaritzburg High Court agreed to a request from the State Prosecutor to issue an arrest warrant for Zuma after he skipped court proceedings due to ill health.

The court stayed the warrant until the date his corruption trial was set to resume.

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