AS IT HAPPENED | Judge says Zuma corruption trial 'must resume' after dismissing appeals, objections

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Former president Jacob Zuma gestures to supporters outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court on 20 May 2019, following an application for a permanent stay of prosecution from 16 charges of money laundering, fraud, racketeering and corruption.
Former president Jacob Zuma gestures to supporters outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court on 20 May 2019, following an application for a permanent stay of prosecution from 16 charges of money laundering, fraud, racketeering and corruption.
PHOTO: Phill Magakoe/Gallo Images
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16 February 10:49

Mzwanele Manyi – spokesperson for the Jacob Zuma Foundation – says Koen's ruling is a "travesty of justice". He makes it clear that the former president will seek to appeal the ruling and says if the State wants Zuma's trial to continue, it must remove Downer as his prosecutor.

 - Karyn Maughan

16 February 10:41


WATCH | Judgment in Jacob Zuma's application for leave to appeal

16 February 10:32

Judge Piet Koen adjourns proceedings.

16 February 10:19

Koen now addresses Zuma's argument that his special plea application should have been decided through oral evidence – i.e. by calling witnesses. He dismisses that argument and says this "would not be in the interests of justice".

 - Karyn Maughan

16 February 10:11

Koen says, in his analysis, Zuma's attempt to appeal his special "will not lead to a just resolution of the issues between the parties": being Zuma's guilt or innocence.

 - Karyn Maughan

16 February 10:10

Koen now addresses Zuma's objection to Downer deposing to an answering affidavit in response to his application for further evidence. The judge says there is no substance to this objection, as Downer was best placed to respond to Zuma's case – and dismisses it.

 - Karyn Maughan

16 February 10:09

Koen addresses Zuma's accusation that he was guilty of an irregularity because he – as the judge – had given directives that affidavits should be filed as part of his leave to appeal. Koen says this was not true, as the directives he had issued were in regard to Zuma’s application for further evidence to be led – in relation to his allegations of misconduct against the State.

Koen slams Zuma's accusations as "opportunistic".

 - Karyn Maughan

16 February 10:05

Koen stresses that he must decide the case that is before him and is "bound" by previous rulings given on the issue of "title" – which made it clear that allegations of bias, as made by Zuma against Downer, were not a basis to remove a prosecutor's title.

 - Karyn Maughan

16 February 10:03

Former president Zuma is not in court this morning.

Koen says he was written a 60-page ruling. But he does not intend to read out the full decision.

Koen says he will read out a summary of his judgment.

Koen references Zuma's special plea application, which he says was focused on his contention that advocate Billy Downer did not possess the title to prosecute him – under the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Act.

 - Karyn Maughan

16 February 09:50

It seems that a stage is being set up outside the court with a picture of former president Zuma's face on it. He may be intending to address his supporters after Koen's decision.

 - Karyn Maughan

16 February 09:48

Former president Jacob Zuma's corruption trial with French arms Thales is due to start in April. The outcome of Judge Piet Koen's ruling this morning – and Zuma's response to it – will have a material impact on the possibility that this long-awaited case actually gets under way.

While police have closed the roads around the Pietermaritzburg High Court, there do not at this stage appear to be many Zuma supporters outside. This may be because this morning's proceedings are expected to be quick.

 - Karyn Maughan

16 February 09:47

Zuma back in Pietermaritzburg court on Wednesday

Former president Jacob Zuma is back at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Wednesday morning for judgment on his application for leave to appeal.

In his application, Zuma wants the lead prosecutor in his arms deal criminal case, advocate Billy Downer, to be removed. Zuma, who says NPA officials have violated his rights since the beginning of his arms deal criminal case in 2005, wants to be acquitted should the court find that prosecutors treated him unfairly.


16 February 09:47



Zuma crowds fail to arrive in Pietermaritzburg

Tensions between former president Jacob Zuma’s supporters and the ANC KZN leadership appear to have escalated.

This, as the campaign to mobilise his backers for yesterday’s court appearance flopped.


16 February 09:47


NPA tells court Zuma has poor prospects of success in 'special plea' appeal case

Former president Jacob Zuma's claim that he will not receive a fair criminal trial because of lead prosecutor advocate Billy Downer's alleged lack of independence is speculative, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) argued on Monday.

Andrew Breitenbach SC, for the NPA, told the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg that the fairness of the trial would be best decided after all the evidence in Zuma's trial is led.


16 February 09:47


Let's not have laws that are uniquely reserved for Jacob Zuma, lawyer argues

Former president Jacob Zuma's legal representative has argued that his client has been treated differently from everyone else.

Zuma is appearing before the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg on Monday in an attempt to appeal Judge Piet Koen's dismissal of his "special plea" application. In his special plea application, Zuma had sought the removal of lead prosecutor Billy Downer, and his acquittal on corruption charges.

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