Former South African President, Jacob Zuma’s corruption trial has been postponed to February next year after he told the high court he wanted to appeal last week’s judgment which refused him a permanent stay of prosecution.
However, the former president is yet to begin his trial for fraud, corruption, racketeering, and money laundering.
The country’s Mail&Gurdian reported that Zuma has been charged by the South African government on a 12-count charge of fraud, a four-count charge of corruption and one count each for racketeering and money laundering respectively.
The charges relate to the infamous “arms deal” — the government’s 1999 purchase of strategic armaments – which has been mired in allegations of corruption for nearly 20 years.
Prosecutor Billy Downer told the high court on Tuesday that the parties had agreed to a hearing of Zuma’s application for leave to appeal in November and that, by February, they would have an idea of which way the case was going.
The February date is a “holding date”, but Downer said the state was hoping the actual trial would start in April next year.
He added that the state was ready to go to trial.
Zuma’s counsel, Thabani Masuku, said the former president was also ready to go to trial and had been for the past 14 years.
“However, he was exercising his ‘full rights’ to appeal,” the counsel said.
The ex-president’s co-accused — French arms company Thales — also said it would be seeking to appeal the matter.
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