Durban – The Jacob G Zuma Foundation has renewed its calls for a roll-off of the corruption trial of former President Jacob Zuma. The appeal comes as it says that it has heard that the National Prosecution Authority wants the question of the arms deal court to be postponed to May 17, 2021. The Jacob Zuma Foundation said in a statement released late on Sunday that the state had not given any explanation for the delay.
The state has cited the Covid-19 lockout in the past as their justification for requesting a postponement, claiming it would be a logistical nightmare to transport and accommodate its over 200 witnesses. During the 1998-1999 procurement of weapons, Zuma is suspected of pocketing bribes. He disputes the allegations against him, saying that they are motivated by politics. The bribes, including the annual retainer of R500 000, were allegedly paid by his former financial advisor, Schabir Shaik, and came from Thales, a French weapons manufacturer that, during the arms procurement process, signed tenders to supply arms.
This is not the first time a commitment like that has been made. Although we, as the Base, doubt the authenticity or commitment of the State to ever prosecute this case, we hope that our judiciary will not accept any more postponement beyond that date. Although these delays continue to abuse the rights of President Zuma on an ongoing basis, the narrative that he is guilty persists as the propaganda of the NPA. It added that it was hopeful that no appeal will be approved by the judiciary to delay the matter further and renew the calls for the matter to be struck off the list.
“We hope that no more misuse of the mechanism will be accepted by the judiciary. Indeed, justice deferred is denied justice, and this has been the living truth and perception of the criminal justice system of President Zuma. Instead of parading President Zuma as a suspect, we will continue to ask the judiciary to strike off this case before the State is really ready. In the meantime, the taxpayer’s purse is lost. We are grateful to South African people who continue to support President Zuma with unwavering support and reject the continuing racism at the hands of the politicized regime.
Meanwhile, the Zuma camp has said the hearing on Tuesday could be postponed in absentia and the former president may not appear in court personally. The news that there is doubt about whether or not the matter will be heard came from Carl Niehaus, MKMVA spokesman, Umkhonto Wesizwe Military Veterans Association, who, when he appears in court, is still beside Zuma. On Sunday, Niehaus told Independent Media that their preparations for whether or not they will be in court are still on hold as they have learned that there is a risk that Zuma may not go to court.