Five things you need to know after Zuma’s court appearance

Former President Jacob Zuma in the PMB High Court for his 3rd appearance on charges of fraud and corruption
Former President Jacob Zuma in the PMB High Court for his 3rd appearance on charges of fraud and corruption
Image: Jackie Clausen

Former president Jacob Zuma made his third trip to court this year on corruption charges when he Pietermaritzburg High Court on Friday.

Zuma is facing 16 charges that include fraud‚ corruption and racketeering.

These charges relate to 783 payments which he allegedly received as a bribe to protect French arms company Thales (also known as Thint) from an investigation into the controversial multi-billion rand arms deal. The alleged bribe was facilitated by Zuma’s former financial adviser‚ Schabir Shaik.

Here are five things you need to know after Friday’s court appearance:

1. The holding date for his criminal trial is November 30 2018;

2. Zuma has abandoned his application for the National Prosecuting Authority to review the charges against him. His legal representative‚ Advocate Michael Hellens‚ told the Pietermaritzburg High Court that the former president would instead apply for a permanent stay of prosecution;

3. Zuma won’t be changing his legal team again. His former attorney Michael Hulley was official excused on Friday following issues over funding‚ however Zuma’s new team‚ led by Hellens‚ “is here to stay”. Hellens confidently told the court that there will be no funding issues with the new team. The state is currently funding Zuma’s legal battle pending a North Gauteng High Court application brought by the DA for the former president to pay his own way;

4. The director of National Prosecuting Authority‚ Shaun Abrahams‚ plans to bring another charge against Zuma’s co-accused‚ Thales‚ but the charge mentioned does not exist under SA law. The state has 14 days to provide clarity to Thales’ legal team; and

5. Deputy Judge President Isaac Madondo‚ who presided over Friday’s appearance‚ has given Zuma’s legal team three months to prepare for his application for a permanent stay of prosecution. The application has to be filed by November 16.