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KZN Judge sets 6-week trial for Zuma arms deal case for next year – SABC News

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KwaZulu-Natal Judge President Thoba Poyo-Dlwati has set aside 6 weeks next year for former President Jacob Zuma’s arms deal corruption trial to begin.

Zuma and French arms company Thales face charges of corruption, racketeering, money laundering, and fraud.

The dates set down are between the 14th of April to the 20th of June, and from the 21st of July to 19 September, next year.

Arms deal trial to return to Pietermaritzburg High Court on Tuesday:

‘Many hurdles’

The National Prosecuting Authority’s spokesperson Advocate Mthunzi Mhaga says, “We’ve had so many hurdles that we’ve had to negotiate. But at least the 29th of August is a pre-trial conference date, which is a second pre-trial because in 2021 there was a pre-trial conference held and the matter was certified trial-ready. And remember that the accused have already pleaded not guilty to the charges. What was left now was for us to put our first witness in the witness box. So we’re hoping that by April 14 that will happen.”

However, the court heard on Thursday that Zuma’s legal team has lodged applications for Judge Nkosinathi Chili to supply written reasons for rejecting the application to recuse the lead prosecutor – Advocate Billy Downer – and had filed an application to appeal against the ruling.

“So procedurally, the application for leave to appeal should be heard first. And then we should go to the pre-trial, and then we go to trial. You would also have heard in court that the pre-trial has been set down for the 29th of August. I’m of the view that on that day we can discuss the issues with the application with leave to appeal, and then the judge will give us his ruling on that, and then we will go on to pre-trial if it comes to that.”

 

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