Jacob Zuma’s bid to remove Billy Downer in his criminal trial is postponed

The special plea hearing has been delayed to allow the state-appointed medical team of specialists to consider medical evidence relating to Zuma

Former president Jacob Zuma
Former president Jacob Zuma
Image: SANDILE NDLOVU

Former president Jacob Zuma’s special plea hearing seeking to remove prosecutor Billy Downer from his arms deal corruption trial will be postponed to later in September for the state to consider his medical evidence.

“We confirm that the special plea hearing relating to Mr Zuma's case will be postponed virtually by consent of all the parties to September 20 and 21, to enable the state-appointed medical team of specialists to consider the medical evidence in co-operation with Mr Zuma’s medical team,” said National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga.

He said the state would give no further details on the matter as Zuma’s medical records were confidential. Zuma was placed on medical parole 58 days after he was admitted as an inmate at the Estcourt Correctional Services facility in KwaZulu-Natal.

In the criminal case, he is facing 16 counts of fraud, corruption, money laundering and racketeering, and his co-accused, French arms company Thales, is facing four counts.

Among the allegations is that the former president received an annual kickback of R500,000 paid through his former financial adviser, Schabir Shaik, in exchange for shielding Thales from an investigation into the controversial arms deal.


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