Former President Jacob Zuma.
Gallo Images / Thulie Dlamini
- The state prosecutor’s office opposed the impression that Jacob Zuma’s next appearance in court was supposed to be the beginning of the trial date.
- This comes after the Zuma Foundation issued a statement suggesting that the criminal case was postponed to a date in May.
- The NPA says it is “extremely dishonest” to pretend that the trial is scheduled for February 23.
The state prosecutor’s office (NPA) says the appearance of former President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday was never designated as the beginning of his trial for corruption.
This comes after the JG Zuma Foundation issued a statement expressing hope that the judiciary would not tolerate further delays in criminal proceedings against Zuma and his co-defendant, the French arms company Thales.
“Although we as a foundation doubt the goodwill or readiness of the state to ever handle this case, we hope that our judiciary will not tolerate further delays after the date,” the statement said.
The Foundation further noted that the state said it would be ready to begin on May 17, 2021.
READ Karin Maughan | Why Jacob Zuma should be worried about Thales ’defeat in racketeering
In addition, he claimed that “these delays” carry Zuma’s “right to be constantly violated and the narrative that he is guilty continues.”
“We hope that the judiciary will not tolerate any further abuse of the process. In fact, justice is late, justice is being denied and this was [former president] Zuma’s reality and the experience of criminal justice have lived on, “the foundation said, adding that it will continue to ask the judiciary to cancel this case until the state is ready.
Earlier this month, News24 reported that the trial of Zuma and Thales could begin as soon as May, after the arms dealer indicated he would not fight a verdict dismissing his attempt to drop the racket charge he faces.
On Sunday, the NPA said it was “extremely dishonest” to pretend the trial was scheduled for Feb. 23.
The prosecution further noted that, when the case was adjourned last year, the court said: “The case is provisional until February 23, in order to resolve the following unresolved issues of pre-investigation management, with the aim that the court at a temporary hearing on February 23, 2021 that the case is ready for trial in accordance with the instructions of the pre-trial hearing of the President of the Judge of 7 November . “
In an earlier report, NPA spokesman Sipho Ngvema told News24: “Indeed, we are pleased with the news that Thales has decided not to complain about the rejection of his anti-racketeering challenge. We are also pleased that the state and Thales are ready to stand trial fairly quickly, in the next three months or so. “
The case is being returned to the KwaZulu-Natal High Court on Tuesday, when a trial date is expected to be set.
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