Trial ‘would just not be fair’‚ says upbeat Zuma on his long-running fraud case.
Former South African president Jacob Zuma returned to the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Friday, July 27
Zuma is facing fraud, corruption and money laundering charges stemming from 17 years past
He is accused of taking bribes from French arms maker, Thales over a contract worth $2.3billion [R30-billion], during his time as a provincial minister and later as ANC deputy president
The charges relate to 783 payments that he allegedly received as a bribe to protect French arms company Thales, also known as Thint, from an investigation into the controversial multi-billion dollar arms deal
His defense team predicts Graft charges ‘will fall’ – Zuma’s new legal team has told Judge Isaac Madondo that the former president will not stand trial for corruption and fraud
A smiling former president Jacob Zuma [ center pointing], chats with his team inside the Pietermaritzburg High Court after the postponement of his trail on charges of fraud and corruption on Friday
The state prosecution team wanted the trial to resume within the next four weeks. However, Judge Mjabuliseni Madondo was mindful that this case has a 17-year long history, accepting that Zuma’s newly-appointed defence team needs even more time to prepare its case.
Stepping out or court he appeared before hundreds of supporters who had gathered in Freedom Square‚ which flanks the Pietermaritzburg High Court.
Zuma told his supporters that he was struggling with his voice because of his flu‚ but he still managed to fire shots at his detractors. The former president talked tough‚ making veiled threats that he would one day reveal all about the plot to prosecute him.
Former South African president Jacob Zuma returned to the Pietermaritzburg High Court on July 27, facing fraud, corruption and money laundering charges.
Zuma seemed to have been buoyed by his newly appointed lawyers‚ saying his legal team would thwart the latest attempt to charge him.
“These lawyers that I have with me now‚ because [former lawyer] Mr Kemp will retire‚ don’t mess around. They are not afraid to go to trial‚ but it would just not be fair if we did‚” he said.
Zuma faces graft charges relating to alleged malfeasance in the controversial arms deal‚ with charges reinstated almost a decade to the day when he was first hit with charges.
“This trial is never-ending and it is always there‚ what we can say is that justice delayed is justice denied” – Zuma
His appearance before Judge Isaac Madondo was brief on Friday‚ with his new legal representatives telling the court that they intended to apply for a permanent stay of prosecution.
“This trial is never-ending and it is always there‚” said Zuma. “What we can say is that justice delayed is justice denied.”
He went through the day’s proceedings with his supporters‚ once again proffering the narrative that he was being victimized. “It was thrown out of court twice before. They said this case is not firm. It was them [judges] who said it and not me‚” said Zuma.
“I can’t wait to see who the witnesses are that were there when I committed these crimes‚ but the lawyers say it will get thrown out‚” he added.
The charges Zuma faces relate to 783 payments that he allegedly received as a bribe to protect French arms company Thales, also known as Thint, from an investigation into the controversial multi-billion rand arms deal.
The alleged bribe was facilitated by Zuma’s former financial adviser‚ Schabir Shaik.
Despite his bout of flu‚ Zuma danced and sang to his trademark Umshini Wami
A sea of Zuma supporters in full throttle outside the court
The seasoned politician may have been battling the flu, still Zuma danced and sang to his trademark Umshini Wami.
He will appear in court again on November 30, to continue with the long running trial or attempts to bring him to face the charges of facing fraud, corruption and money laundering. He is accused of taking bribes from French arms maker Thales over a contract worth R30-billion during his time as a provincial minister and later as ANC deputy president.