Zuma trial postponed


The trial of former President Jacob Zuma has been postponed to 4 February next year.

The former president faces charges of corruption, money laundering and racketeering linked to the multi-billion rand arms deal at the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

Zuma appeared alongside representatives of Thales, the French company which is accused of paying the bribes this week. Zuma and Thales deny the charges.

Zuma and Thales are to stand trial for charges relating to the 1990s arms deal. In January 1994, Zuma was nominated as the ANC candidate for the Premiership of KwaZulu-Natal. He was subsequently appointed Member of the Executive Committee (MEC) of Economic Affairs and Tourism for the KZN provincial government.

Zuma was elected National Chairperson of the ANC and chairperson of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal in December 1994. He was re-elected to the latter position in 1996. A year later, in December 1997, he was elected Deputy President of the ANC.

In June 1999, Zuma was appointed Deputy President of South Africa, a position he held until June 2005.

His former financial adviser Schabir Shaik, who allegedly facilitated Thales’ payments, was in 2005 found guilty of fraud and corruption and sentenced to 15 years in jail.

Last Friday, a full bench of the high court dismissed with costs an appeal by the former President and his co-accused for a permanent stay of prosecution.

According to the judgment, Zuma and his co-accused failed to prove there were no reasonable and probable grounds for his successful prosecution.