The arms deal case involving former president Jacob Zuma and French arms manufacturer Thales is expected to continue on Tuesday morning, 26 October 2021, at the High Court in Pietermaritzburg.
The court is expected to deliver judgement in Zuma’s bid to have advocate Billy Downer, the state prosecutor, removed from the trial. Downer has wanted to nail Zuma for at least 15 years.
Zuma’s legal team maintains that he cannot continue to be part of the case, arguing prosecutorial misconduct. They claim there have been at least a dozen instances where Downer has acted unethically as a prosecutor.
He has already filed criminal charges against Downer, accusing him of leaking confidential information related to his health.
Zuma will not attend court proceedings
While proceedings will continue, Jacob Zuma will not be present and it will only be his legal team before the court. This was confirmed by his foundation, which did not give any specific reason for the decision.
“Dear Media, Just so it’s clear. On the 26th October 21, Judge Koen will be handing down his judgment following the arguments of 21/22 September. So, the 26th October 21 is not a trial date but a judgment date. H.E Prez Zuma is not required to attend, he will send his attorney,” his foundation said in a statement.
Zuma faces 16 charges of fraud, corruption, racketeering, and money-laundering related to the controversial multi-billion rand arms deal in the late 1990s. The former president is alleged to have received 783 suspicious payments to the tune of R1.2 million from Thales, through his disgraced former financial advisor Shabir Shaik. Zuma has denied the allegations and claims they are politically motivated.