Former president Jacob Zuma’s legal team will apply for a postponement of his arms deal corruption trial on Tuesday.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Adv Mthunzi Mhaga confirmed on Monday that Zuma’s legal team planned to “make a substantive application for a postponement, virtually”.
“It’s unfortunate that there will be a postponement as our team is ready to argue the special plea as planned but these are circumstances beyond our control,” he said.
Earlier, Correctional Services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo confirmed that Zuma was still in hospital for medical observation.
Zuma, who was sentenced last month to a 15-month jail term for contempt of court, has been medically supervised by staff from the SA Military Health Services since his admission at the Estcourt Correctional Centre.
On Monday morning, the Jacob Zuma Foundation tweeted that the matter would be heard virtually at 10am on Tuesday.
The NPA on behalf of all the parties sent a joint letter to Hon Judge Koen reflecting the parties agreement to postpone the hearing at the Pmb High Court due to the ongoing hospitalisation of Pre Zuma.
On the 10th Aug at 10h00 the matter will be heared virtually for postponement
— JGZuma Foundation (Official) (@JGZ_Foundation) August 9, 2021
In the past, Zuma’s defence team was accused of adopting a “Stalingrad approach” by launching court applications to delay the start of the corruption trial while the state has always said it was ready to proceed.
In 2007, Zuma’s then-advocate Kemp J Kemp told the Durban high court: “We have adopted a Stalingrad strategy in response to this prosecution … we will fight [the state] in every street, in every house, and in every room.”
Since then, under instruction from Zuma’s long-time attorney Michael Hulley, his defence team has tried every possible legal avenue to prevent him from being prosecuted.
Zuma is accused of receiving an annual bribe of R500,000 from French arms dealer Thales for protection from an investigation into the controversial arms deal.
The alleged bribe was facilitated by Schabir Shaik, who was Zuma’s former financial adviser.