Another three months before Zuma returns to court

2018-07-27 15:51
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(YouTube screen grab)

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Former president Jacob Zuma will have to wait just over three months before he's back in the dock in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg.

Zuma, along with French arms company Thales, were given three months to make applications for a permanent stay of prosecution.

Deputy Judge President Mjabuliseni Madondo gave Zuma and Thales until November 16 to lodge their applications but postponed the case until November 30.

State prosecutor Billy Downer initially asked the court to order that the applications for a permanent stay of prosecution be lodged at the end of August.

ALSO READ: 5 new things we learned from Zuma's latest court appearance

However, in his first appearance as new counsel for Zuma, Mike Hellens argued that the case had a 17-year history, and that it would be impossible for them to prepare in one month.

Hellens was quick to highlight spying on Zuma, saying the Browse Mole report ("spy tapes") was a serious issue.

He also said there had been interference in the independence of the decision to prosecute Zuma.

Hellens added that Zuma's legal funding would no longer affect his court matter.

Representing Zuma's co-accused Thales, advocate Anton Katz said they would also apply for a permanent stay of prosecution.

Earlier this week, the National Prosecuting Authority turned down a request by Thales to have the charges against it dropped.

'He did not leave the ANC when he was sacked'

A new charge against Thales could also be added to their indictment, the court heard. Madondo ordered the State to furnish Thales with the final indictment within 14 days.

Earlier, hundreds of ANC supporters arrived outside the High Court to support the former State president.

Zuma's supporters sang struggle songs as they marched through the streets on Friday morning.

The marchers were led by MKMVA members, who were then followed by religious leaders and provincial ANC leaders, including former provincial executive committee secretary Super Zuma.

Nokwazi Dlamini, an ANC member in the eThekwini region, said she supported Zuma because he was a disciplined cadre of the ANC.

"He did not leave the ANC when he was sacked from his position as president of the country. He did many good things when he was still the president. Some people are on ARV treatments through him, some are working today through Msholozi," said Dlamini.

Another supporter, Veli Zulu from Gauteng, told News24: "I came here as a member of the ANC to support another member of the ANC. It’s our culture in the ANC to serve, protect and defend one another. Zuma has adhered to the rule of law and we are here to show South Africans that the ANC respects the rules of the republic and that's why we are here."

Zuma's supporters held a night vigil on Thursday at Freedom Square, a park across from the High Court where he appeared.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  pietermaritzburg  |  corruption

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