Jacob Zuma Foundation hopeful doctors will allow him to spend time with family

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  • Former president Jacob Zuma's health has apparently worsened over the past few days.
  • Due to ill health, he was unable to attend the first day of his corruption trial in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg.
  • Zuma faces charges in connection with his role in the arms deal during the 1990s.

The Jacob Zuma Foundation is hopeful that, despite the former president's ill health, doctors will allow him some time to spend at home with his family.

Zuma turned 80 on Tuesday and, due to his ill health, was unable to attend the first day of his corruption trial in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg on Monday.

READ | Zuma in court: Appeal process should be allowed to run its course, says judge as he grants postponement

On Monday, foundation spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi told journalists that Zuma's medical condition had worsened, resulting in him being unable to attend court proceedings in person.

Zuma, however, waived his right to be in court so the judge could continue hearing his postponement application.

Manyi said:

His achievements over many decades are too numerous to mention and all the peace-loving South Africans and the people the world over, have a special place in their hearts for him. We hope that despite his ill-health, doctors will allow him some time to spend at home with his family. The foundation will compile his 80 birthday memoirs.

He added that the foundation was requesting the nation to keep Zuma in their prayers for a speedy recovery.

Zuma was advised by his doctors not to attend Monday's court proceeding at the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg where he is facing charges of corruption.

The former president is facing criminal charges in connection with his role in the arms deal during the 1990s.

During Monday's proceedings, Judge Piet Koen granted Zuma's application for his criminal trial to be postponed.

Zuma is seeking the removal of lead prosecutor Billy Downer from the case.

However, the SCA last month ruled that the trial should go ahead, and that Downer should be allowed to continue as the lead prosecutor.

Zuma's legal representative, advocate Dali Mpofu SC, had argued that the former president's trial should be postponed to allow SCA President Mandisa Maya to rule on his application for the SCA's ruling to be reviewed.

In granting Zuma's application, Koen postponed his trial to 17 May - which the judge said was the "holding date".

READ | Be 'aware' of July unrest: Why Zuma’s lawyers say Koen can’t refuse his postponement application

Meanwhile on Sunday, Zuma welcomed controversial diamond dealer Louis Liebenberg to his Nkandla homestead.

Liebenberg handed over two cows to Zuma.

In July last year, Liebenberg and his company Tariomix had their bank accounts containing approximately R100 million provisionally frozen by an order of the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, following allegations of money laundering and running a Ponzi scheme.

In March, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) secured the provisional preservation order against bank accounts in the name of Liebenberg, his colleague Ronelle Kleynhans, and Tariomix.

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