South Africa

Zuma’s ‘special’ plea application DISMISSED

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Former President Jacob Zuma has suffered another defeat in the courts – this time the Supreme Court of Appeal Judge President Mandisa Maya has dismissed his latest bid to have advocate Billy Downer, the state prosecutor in his arms deal trial, removed from the matter.

Zuma petitioned Maya after judges of the same court dismissed his initial application.

The High Court in Pietermaritzburg had previously dismissed Zuma’s application for leave to appeal its decision that Downer stay on the matter. Zuma’s legal team had wanted Downer removed from his corruption trial, arguing prosecutorial misconduct. They claim there have been at least a dozen instances where Downer has acted unethically as a prosecutor.

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ZUMA’S CORRUPTION TRIAL TO GO AHEAD

The decision by the SCA Judge President Mandisa Maya paves the way for the continuation of Jacob Zuma’s corruption trial.

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Proceedings had to be postponed earlier in May to allow Maya time to rule on the bid to have Downer removed. The corruption trial now looks set to continue in August.

Zuma faces 16 charges of fraud, corruption, racketeering, and money-laundering related to the controversial multi-billion rand arms deal in the late 1990s. The former president is alleged to have received 783 suspicious payments to the tune of R1.2 million from French arms manufacturer Thales, through his disgraced former financial advisor Shabir Shaik. Zuma has denied the allegations and claims they are politically motivated.

As if that isn’t enough, the former president faces another battle. The appeal bid against the decision to grant him medical parole will be heard in August

Former national commissioner of Correctional Services, Arthur Fraser released Zuma from the Estcourt Correctional Facility in KwaZulu-Natal last year. Zuma had been sentenced to 15 months behind bars for being in contempt of the Constitutional court.

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