Zuma to get his day in court

Lungani Zungu

It took less than 10 minutes in the Pietermaritzburg High Court for the date for Jacob Zuma’s pre-trial for his criminal case to be set.

Former president Jacob Zuma will have his day in court on 17 May.

Zuma and his supporters were not present.

Zuma and Thales, a French multinational company, are facing charges of money-laundering, fraud and corruption charges stemming from the multi-billion rand Arms Deal of the 1990s.  

State prosecutor Billy Downer said the prosecution was armed with more than 200 witnesses.

Downer said that the date was agreed by the state, Thales and Zuma’s legal representatives.

Zuma is alleged to have sought bribes from the defence contractor Thomson-CSF, now Thales, in return for protection from any future prosecution. 

Zuma has always rejected the allegations saying he was a MEC for Economic Development in KZN and had nothing to do with the tenders at the national government. 

He held the powerful position of ANC national chairperson at the time.

Zuma’s daughter Dudu Zuma-Sambudla issued a statement by the JG Zuma Foundation saying the latest postponement showed that the NPA was still not ready to proceed with the trial.

“While these postponements carry on President Zuma’s rights to be continuously violated and the narrative that he is guilty continues.

“We will continue to ask the judiciary to strike this case off until the state is really ready rather than to parade President Zuma as a criminal.”