Jacob Zuma's plea hearing moved to open court

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Former president Jacob Zuma
Former president Jacob Zuma
Peter Foley - Pool, Getty Images
  • Jacob Zuma's plea hearing will be heard in an open court.
  • Zuma is expected to appear in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court on Tuesday.
  • The former president is expected to make oral presentations, according to a spokesperson.

Imprisoned former president Jacob Zuma will appear in person in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday for his plea hearing.

READ | NPA raises security concerns as imprisoned Zuma refuses to consent to virtual 'special plea' hearing

The case was expected to be heard virtually, but Zuma's legal team argued that a virtual hearing would violate his right to a fair trial.

On Wednesday, Judge Pete Koen issued a directive that stated that the matter would proceed in an open court. The directive also stated that Covid-19 safety protocols, including the wearing of masks, should be strictly adhered to.

Commenting on the decision, Jacob Zuma Foundation spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi said the outcome meant "the Constitution has won".

"The Constitution provides for every person to attend their trial in person. It's bizarre that we've even had to fight for this," he said.

WATCH | Why is Jacob Zuma going to jail? News24 explains

Manyi added that Zuma would be able to consult with his legal team more freely in an open court and ensure that the proceedings run smoothly. He also said Zuma planned to make oral presentations.

Health concerns previously delayed Zuma's court appearances, but Manyi was confident that Zuma would attend the appearance on Tuesday.

"He was well enough to attend his brother's funeral, and we've not said in the media that he is experiencing any health complaints. There is no reason to worry at this stage," he said.

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