State advocate hails start of Zuma corruption trial as milestone

State advocate hails start of Zuma corruption trial as milestone

Senior State Advocate, Billy Downer says the fact a trial date has been set in the corruption matter against former President Jacob Zuma is a milestone for the case.

Jacob Zuma

The trial against Zuma and French arms company, Thales is set to begin on the 17th of May.

They’re facing racketeering, corruption, money laundering, and fraud charges relating to the multi-million rand arms deal.

Zuma and representatives of Thales were excused from today's proceedings in the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

Downer told the court that all outstanding matters had been resolved, including Thales’ application to have a racketeering charge struck off the role. It was denied.

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He said none of the legal representatives felt it was necessary to hold the trial back any further, even with the issue of COVID-19 lockdowns and travel restrictions affecting some witnesses in the case.

The court heard there are 234 witnesses and that most of them (217) had availed themselves on the trial dates.

The first part of the trial will run until the 20th of June. Further dates will be decided later.

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