20th July, 2021
A South African court today granted former President Jacob Zuma’s request for a delay in his arms deal corruption trial.
Pietermaritzburg High Court Judge Piet Koen adjourned proceedings till August.
Zuma is accused of receiving kickbacks over a $2 billion arms deal from the 1990s.
He pleaded not guilty in May to charges including corruption, fraud and money laundering.
He has evaded prosecution for more than a decade, and portrayed himself as the victim of a politically motivated witch-hunt.
“The trial is adjourned to 10-13 August 2021,” said Judge Piet Koen.
He did not give the reasons why he allowed the delay.
Zuma has started a 15-month sentence for contempt of court.
He appeared before the Pietermaritzburg court virtually but stayed silent while his legal team argued that a postponement should be granted so that he could appear in person.
Zuma’s jailing this month triggered some of the worst unrest of the post-apartheid era.
There were fears his latest court appearance could lead to a flare-up of violent protests from his support base.
That has not materialised so far.