South Africa: Zuma trial postponed again, see you on July 27

In South Africa, former President Jacob Zuma appeared again on Friday morning in the Durban High Court before his trial was postponed to 27 July.

The former head of state who had to resign in February is being prosecuted for fraud, corruption and money laundering as part of an old arms deal.

The former president is accused of receiving bribes from Thomson CSF – the former name of Thales – as part of a four-billion euro arms deal 1999. The South African industry of the equipment manufacturer Thales is also present on the dock.

This is the second time Jacob Zuma appears in court in this case, but once again the hearing was suspended without even reading the indictment.

This second hearing will not have lasted longer than the first, at the beginning of April, thirty minutes before the announcement of a postponement of the case to 27 July.

On the one hand, Jacob Zuma’s defense has indicated that it is “not ready” to plead at this stage as there is still litigation surrounding the former president’s legal costs.

The South African opposition has appealed for the taxpayer to no longer be required to pay Jacob Zuma’s legal fees, which have already risen to more than one million euros since 2009. The lawyers of the former Head of State also expect the South African Presidency to take a stand on the subject.

On the other hand, the company Thales, which appears alongside Jacob Zuma in this case, filed an appeal Thursday morning, to try to cancel the charges.

The prosecutor therefore needs more time to evaluate these new elements. In any case, this first Zuma trial should not begin before November 12 at the earliest. This is in any case the date mentioned by the prosecutor, even if new setbacks are not to be dismissed.

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