Monday, 22 February 2021 22:14

Staff Reporter.

Photo Credit: Esa Alexander.

Former President Jacob Zuma will not appear in the Pietermaritzburg High Court in person on Tuesday for proceedings in his corruption trial which is due on the court roll.

The matter is expected to be postponed until May 17 after an agreement was reached between all parties.

Last December a similar agreement was made between Zuma’s defence team and the state which was was made necessary by the fact that Zuma’s co-accused, Thales, a French arms company, was still waiting for the same court to rule on whether the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) was correct to charge it with racketeering.

The court eventually ruled in favour of the NPA.

With a clear postponement on the cards, all parties agreed by mutual consent not to be present in court and have the matter formally moved to another date after a judge's consent.

In the past, the state cited the Covid-19 lockdown as their reason for seeking a postponement, saying moving and accommodating its over 200 witnesses would be a logistical nightmare.

Zuma is accused of pocketing bribes during the 1998-1999 procurement of arms. He denies the charges against him, saying they are politically motivated.

The bribes, including a R500 000 annual retainer, were allegedly paid by his former financial adviser, Schabir Shaik, and they came from Thales, which scored some tenders to supply arms during the arms procurement process.

Meanwhile the Jacob G Zuma Foundation has renewed calls that the corruption trial of former president Jacob Zuma be struck off the roll.

In a statement issued late on Sunday, the Foundation said the state had not given any reason for the delay.

It added that it was hopeful that the judiciary will not grant any request to postpone the matter any further and renew the calls to have the matter struck off the roll.