Zuma to miss court for verdict

2019-11-28 15:14

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Former president Jacob Zuma won’t be in court on Friday to hear if he will get leave to appeal last month’s court decision that he should face trial for his role in the arms deal.

Zuma, who previously attended all court rulings on his corruption case, will be in his rural village of Nkandla during the delivery of the judgment in the high court in Pietermaritzburg.

“It should be borne in mind that Friday’s judgment is a side issue and not the main case. It is for this reason that the former president felt that there was no need for him to be in court for the ruling,” Zuma’s spokesperson, Vukile Mathabela, said.

While the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) insisted that Zuma had a strong case to answer in relation to his role in the arms deal in the 1990s, he has argued that the charges against him were politically motivated.

The ANC’s leadership contest which pitted him against former president Thabo Mbeki during the build-up to the party’s 2007 national conference, Zuma said, resulted in NPA senior officials sympathetic to Mbeki concocting criminal charges in an attempt to eliminate him from the leadership race.

Zuma, who filed for leave to appeal after the court had dismissed his application for a permanent stay of prosecution, had in the past attracted large crowds of followers each time he was in court.

However, in recent months his supporters, including former communications minister, Faith Muthambi, former mineral resources minister, Mosebenzi Zwane, and Mkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association’s national spokesperson Carl Niehaus, have not been attending his court appearances.

Apart from the corruption charges, Zuma is also facing a grilling from the Zondo Commission for his role in state capture. Several witnesses testifying at the commission have implicated him in state capture, whose main focus is members of the Gupta family, who were Zuma’s close friends. Zuma will face trial in connection with the corruption charges if tomorrow’s ruling goes against him.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  jacob zuma

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