Thu. Oct 17th, 2019

Six things to know as Jacob Zuma’s corruption case returns to court on Monday

Jacob Zuma corruption caseIt’s D-Day for Jacob Zuma, as his corruption case returns to the Pietermaritzburg High Court. By Friday, we should know if he’ll face a criminal trial.

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Jacob Zuma is arguably facing the battle of his life this week, as his legal team attempt to halt the proceedings and dismiss all charges of corruption laid against the former president.

The court case resumes on Monday morning in Pietermaritzburg, and it will feature a week of deliberations that could make or break Msholozi’s future. We’re looking ahead to what you can expect over the next few days:

Everything you need to know about Jacob Zuma’s corruption court case

Why are we back in court?

Zuma’s defence team are angling for a permanent stay of prosecution in this case. That means they want all legal proceedings related to the alleged illicit arms deal postponed indefinitely. It’s classic JZ warfare, and another delay would add to the previous 16 years where he’s already managed to dodge accountability for his suspected actions.

How long this will go on for

From Monday 20 May to Friday 24 May, the court will hear arguments from both the defence and the prosecution on whether Jacob Zuma should face the full might criminal trial. Yes, this case has been plagued by postponements, but this week marks the most solid bit of progress we’ve had since Msholozi returned to the dock in April 2018.

What the defence will say

They’ll be bringing out the tried and tested lines: They believe the enormous delays actually work in favour of Jacob Zuma – in the 16 years since Schabir Shaik was first accused of greasing the former president’s palms, the defence believes their client has suffered extensive reputational damage, harming his chances of a free and fair trial.

What the prosecution will say

They are also keen to use the postponements in their favour. Wim Trengrove is a leading prosecutor for the state, and he argues that delaying the trial only implicates Zuma further. As the Mail and Guardian report, Trengrove feels buoyed by six failed court cases which previously sought to halt legal action against Jacob Zuma.

Jacob Zuma in court: Who are Thales?

When the ANC government implemented a multi-billion rand arms acquisition programme after coming into power, the French arms company – formerly known as Thompson CSF – was awarded a R2.6 billion stake back in 1997. This was to supply combat systems for the SA Navy.

A subsidiary of the group known as “Thint” are accused of paying Zuma R500 000 a year, to use his political influence and prevent any inquiries into their illicit deals. The group will also be asking for a permanent stay of prosecution.

What will happen to Jacob Zuma once we’re done here?

A full bench will receive all applications on the matter over the next five days. Friday 24 May will be the last day of this hearing, and the lawmakers must come to a decision on whether they will officially give the go-ahead for a criminal trial.

If the state can convince the bench they have a solid case, that’s when the real fireworks will begin. If the defence is successful, it’s likely that a 77-year-old Jacob Zuma will avoid a conviction for his role in this alleged corruption.

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