By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
Former president Jacob Zuma’s lawyers have reportedly filed an application for the postponement of his arms deal corruption trial.
The trial is due to be heard virtually on Monday morning in the Pietermaritzburg High Court. But according to a News24 report, Zuma’s lawyer, Bethuel Thusini, filed an application on Saturday afternoon for the case to be postponed.
Thusini apparently told the court they were seeking a postponement because Zuma "cannot, in the present circumstances, be compelled to have his trial conducted on a virtual platform and/or in his absence".
Zuma and French arms firm company, Thales, will be on trial regarding the controversial multibillion-rand arms deal dating back to the 1990s. Zuma faces 18 charges and 783 counts related to the case, including fraud, corruption, money laundering and racketeering, while Thales faces four charges.
Meanwhile Michael Zuma, the younger brother of jailed former president Zuma will be buried at his Nkandla home on Thursday.
The funeral details were confirmed on Sunday by Khanya Zuma, a senior member of the Zuma clan.
Michael passed away a week ago after battling an undisclosed sickness for almost seven years.
However, Khanya has repeatedly said his passing was not in any way related to the jailing of his brother, Jacob Zuma who has been behind bars since July 8 this year when he started serving his 15 month sentence at Estcourt prison in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands for contempt of court .
Zuma can apply for compassionate leave to attend the funeral of his brother, the department of correctional services said should he apply, his application will be considered guided by the Correctional Services Act.
The department’s spokesperson, Singabakho Nxumalo said a whole range of factors have to be considered before they grant the leave.
"Compassionate leave for inmates is dealt with in line with Section 44 (1)(a) of the Correctional Services Act. Once an application is received from Jacob Zuma, it will then be processed accordingly."