Zuma’s defence attempts to halt corruption trial

The case has been postponed again until November 30, as Zuma’s defence attempts to bring a permanent stay of prosecution.

Former president Jacob Zuma appeared in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Friday, where his case was postponed until November 30.

The embattled politician faces one count of racketeering, two counts of corruption, one count of money laundering and 12 counts of fraud relating to his involvement in the controversial arms deal in the 1990s.

Zuma, named as accused number one by the state, will be defending himself against allegations that he took bribes from French arms maker Thales over a contract worth R30 billion while deputy ANC president and provincial economy minister in a deal that was finalised in 1999.

Zuma’s new lawyer, Michael Hellens, told the court that Jacob Zuma wanted to bring a permanent stay of prosecution that would have the case dismissed.

Acting for Thales, Anton Katz also stated he wanted to prepare an application for a permanent stay.

Justice Isaac Madondo said the defence would need time to bring this application, hence the delay.

Hellens argued there was phone tapping against the former president and that this amounted to pre-trial irregularities.

He also made several references to what he called the “Stalingrad tactics” used by Zuma’s former legal team, stressing his team would be doing things differently.

READ MORE: Why Zuma enjoys support ahead of his next corruption court date

His first appearance on June 8 was postponed until Friday, June 27.

The Citizen reported this morning that the “Hands off Zuma” movement had mobilised outside the court in support of the politician.

A motorcade, a night vigil and a walk will all culminate in a march to the court orchestrated by the ‘Hands off Zuma’ or #Wenzeni_uZuma campaign.

There also appeared to be significant support from high-ranking ANC executives. KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) MEC for education Mthandeni Dlungwana was filmed on eNCA at the pro-Zuma march this morning, and journalist Kailene Pillay noted that current KZN transport MEC Mxolisi Kaunda and former agriculture MEC Meshack Radebe were also in attendance.

More recently, ANC KZN chair Sihle Zikalala was seen in attendance at court.

Warnings of heavy traffic in the Pietermaritzburg CBD have been reported.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has alleged there was an illegal “common purpose” relationship between Zuma, his convicted former financial advisor Schabir Shaik and Thales South Africa (Pty) Ltd to pay and accept bribes in return for political protection.

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