- Former president Jacob Zuma has repeated that he always wanted his day in court
- His trial is set for Wednesday but his lawyer has indicated that it won't take place
- Earlier this week, Zuma withdrew his application to appeal the trial
Former president Jacob Zuma repeated his claims on Saturday that it was always his desire to have his day in court.
“I’ve always said I wanted my day in court. It is (time for) South Africans to hear the truth. My silence has always been to keep unity, but it is now time,” he told Independent Media.
Zuma's court date will take place under level 4 lockdown. It had been set for Wednesday next week but according to Zuma's lawyer Eric Mabuza the date has been postponed to June 23.
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng issued clarity over how court cases will be conducted during lockdown. He issued a directive to 9 judge presidents:
“Criminal trials already set down for hearing during the national state of disaster period shall be dealt with and disposed of in a manner determined by the head of the court”.
Briefly.co.za learned that Nathi Mncube, Mogoeng’s spokesperson, said the directive meant that judge presidents would be able to decide on how to handle court appearances.
“They can say all trials shall proceed or all trials shall not proceed,” said Mncube, who added he was not in a position to comment on the Pietermaritzburg High Court’s readiness to accommodate Zuma’s case.
Mabuza replied to questions about the reason for the postponement:
“Ask the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority).”
He also said that Zuma would not be in court on Wednesday and neither would his legal team. He reiterated that Zuma was prepared to deal with the charges levelled against him according to IOL.
“That is what he said many times in statements he had released. He is waiting to fight in the trial as he wants to go for the trial.” He said the team was waiting for the directive on whether Zuma would be appearing during lockdown.
Mabuza had written a letter to the NPA on Friday in which he revealed that the state might not be prepared for the pre-trial.
“This literally means that despite what it previously communicated to our client and the public, the State is nowhere near ready for the trial.
“The fact that we have not been given all the evidence is gravely prejudicial against our client in that our client cannot finalise his request for further particulars let alone start preparing for the trial,” read his letter.
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that former president Jacob Zuma has opted to withdraw his application for leave to appeal his denied request for a permanent stay in prosecution over the Thales debacle.
In a statement issued by the Jacob Zuma Foundation on Wednesday, the ex-president explained that.
"The Former President of RSA, HE JG Zuma welcomes the acceptance by the Constitutional Court on 28 April 2020 of his withdrawal of the application for leave to appeal. This indeed paves the way for him to prepare for the trial and demonstrate that he has never benefited from any Arms Deal corruption or tried to evade the trial. He hopes that his innocence will indeed be demonstrated for all to see."
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