Court to decide on Jacob Zuma’s application on August 10 when trial resumes
The high court in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday adjourned former president Jacob Zuma’s fraud and corruption trial until August 10, when the court will hear adjudication of the issues Zuma raised in his special plea that prosecutor Billy Downer has “no title” to prosecute.
Judge Piet Koen made this order on Tuesday after hearing arguments on Monday from Zuma’s lawyers, who were seeking a postponement for two to three weeks.
In his order passed on Tuesday, Koen said the ruling in respect of the relief sought by Zuma in an application made before the court on July 17 is adjourned until August 10.
“The trial is adjourned to August 10 to 13 2021 for the adjudication of the issues raised in the special plea,” Koen said.
Koen said the court directive of July 15, that the hearing of the special plea will proceed by way of virtual hearing, will continue to apply unless revoked or revised.
In an application made by his lawyers on Saturday, Zuma had asked for his related to the 1999 arms procurement deal, scheduled to resume on Monday, to be postponed for three weeks.
Zuma’s lawyers argued on Monday that it would be a breach of his fair trial rights to hear his special plea virtually.
His trial was set to resume on Monday with Koen scheduled to hear argument on his special plea regarding Downer.
Zuma’s lawyers said he would present oral evidence as part of this plea.
With last week’s unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng after his recent arrest for contempt of court, the courts were closed and the judge wrote to the parties to explore the possibility of hearing argument on the special plea via a virtual platform
However, counsel for the state, advocate Wim Trengove , on Monday called the postponement application “Stalingrad, Season 27”, and asked the court to dismiss the application for a postponement.