AS IT HAPPENED | Zuma's corruption case adjourned to September, no trial date set yet

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Last Updated

23 June 09:21

IN-DEPTH 

Battleground social media: The gathering Twitter storm 

When we say "same WhatsApp group" we normally mean people share a point of view. But occasionally – very occasionally – there really is a WhatsApp group quietly coordinating what people say on social media and what happens in the streets.

In chapter 2 of "Battleground social media", we look at how remnants of the Zuma faction of the ANC have leveraged non-profits, anonymous Twitter accounts and even an outside political party to advance their agenda.

READ FULL FEATURE

23 June 09:22

ALSO READ | Zuma legal team has reservations as trial commences

23 June 09:22

ICYMI: 

Zuma gears up to appear in Pietermaritzburg court, but lockdown regulations hamper support 

The normally boisterous support in KwaZulu-Natal for former president Jacob Zuma is expected to be watered down to just a few people on Tuesday thanks to Covid-19 lockdown regulations which prohibit gatherings.

Zuma is expected back in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday for the start of his pre-trial proceedings.

The former president usually has a strong contingent of supporters in Pietermaritzburg for days such as Tuesday, but with new rules kicking in to prevent the spread of Covid-19, it may be a subdued affair.

READ MORE

23 June 09:22

Jacob Zuma back in court for corruption trial: What can we expect? 

After a massive outcry over his non-attendance in court earlier this year, citing ill health, former president Jacob Zuma is expected to appear in person at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Tuesday for his corruption trial.

The matter, well over a decade in the making, is on the cusp of going to trial after failed applications for a stay of prosecution by both Zuma and co-accused French arms company, Thales.

Ahead of the proceedings, both the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and Zuma's legal team, headed by recently appointed advocate Eric Mabuza, were mum on exactly what could unfold during proceedings, suggesting a postponement for a holding date - which has been rumoured - would be the tip of the iceberg in the High Court.

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23 June 10:13

Judge Kate Pillay says because of the advanced age of the accused, Jacob Zuma, you would want the trial to start ASAP. In light of the stance taken by Zuma, she asks if a date cannot be set in August.

23 June 10:21

Downer says the challenge with setting a date in August is that this is the earliest time in which one can provide Thales with the requested documentation.

Downer says it would be very unusual to start the trial in October, when we know the certification process is not yet completed.

23 June 10:42

Advocate Muzi Sikhakhane: "What you are to decide today, is to take into account what I call the State's ever-shifting goalposts about the reasons... Let me give you three reasons, they are not mentioned today.

Sikhakhane: "In one of Mr Downer's letters, he blames the delay on, yes Covid-19 has been consistent with it. He then blames the fact that he thinks Mr Mabuza, my attorney is new in the matter, needs to read - something we find odd. He then talks about Thales and their request for further particulars. And then, the alarming one, is that he says the fact that we have not given them further particulars is a delay. And today, the fact that we've given him requests for further particulars, is a delay."

23 June 10:42

Judge Kate Pillay counters that the request from Zuma's legal counsel for further particulars only came last week, 19 June, despite the fact that they were aware of this matter for a long time.

23 June 10:56

Downer: "The issue of the trial date in October, for which all parties sought your directive, is precisely, as your ladyship put it, that we can't choose that trial date until this matter is certified as trial ready. 

Downer: "And when this matter is certified as trial ready, whether it be at the end of August, or during September, or even in October, when it is so certified, the period we need from that date to setting the matter down for trial cannot simply be a month... even two months."

23 June 11:03

"October is too early," says Downer. "Because from September to October to set a big trial in a High Court in the middle of Covid, with one month's notice...I'm putting on record now, just as my learned friends are putting on record they want October, so come September we going to have a huge argument, 'We want October', we say we told you we're not ready in October, the court will rule."

23 June 11:06

Judge Kate Pillay adjourns the matter to 8 September. 

"Mr Zuma, your matter is adjourned to the 8th of September. Unfortunately, you are warned to be back here in this court, on that date. Thank you."

Pillay adjourns proceedings.

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