Zuma case in experienced hands

2008-07-28 00:00

KwaZulu-Natal Judge President Vuka Tshabalala yesterday confirmed that Judge Chris Nicholson has been appointed to preside over Jacob Zuma’s court case, ending media speculation.

Judge Tshabalala issued the announcement via his registrar and declined to make any further statement concerning the trial judge.

Legal representatives of the parties were contacted by the judge president’s office yesterday and officially informed of the identity of the trial judge.

None of the parties wished to comment, but Nicholson has earned a reputation as an extremely experienced, competent and fair judge and his appointment is likely to please everyone.

The criminal trial against Zuma and his co-accused, Pierre Moynot and Thint, on fraud, corruption, racketeering and tax evasion charges, is likely to be adjourned when the case begins in Pietermaritzburg next Monday.

The case will then proceed with legal argument on the application by Zuma to have the charges declared unconstitutional.

The Witness has confirmed that Zuma has been summonsed to appear in court on August 4 and is required to attend the proceedings.

Nalini Naidoo reports that at a press briefing yesterday, the KZN branch of the SA Communist Party expressed indifference over the identity of the judge. Secretary-general Themba Mthembu said everyone is jittery over the judiciary, as recent events have pointed to questionable actions on the part of some senior judges.

“We look with keen interest at how this case is going to be handled by Judge Nicholson,” he said.

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