South Africa: State Ready for Graft Trial While Zuma Plays the Legal Appeal Game


The state is pushing for an early as possible date for the graft trial of Jacob Zuma and French arms manufacturer Thales, even though Zuma's legal team said on Tuesday that the former president would be applying to appeal the denial of his stay of prosecution.

"The state is really interested in getting this trial running as soon as practically possible, which is at the earliest possible date next year," veteran state prosecutor Advocate Billy Downer told the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

On Friday, judges Jerome Mnguni, Esther Steyn and Thoba Poyo-Dlwati dismissed the stay of prosecution applications made by Zuma and Thales, with costs.

Tuesday had been set down as a provisional date for the commencement of the criminal trial against both parties.

"As we have said from the beginning, from the state's side, when this matter was put down on the high court roll, the state is ready for trial - and that remains the case," said Downer.

The first available trial date on the court roll is Monday 13 April 2020.

While the state remained "ready", for trial, there were "a number of practical things" that had to be ironed out, added Downer, including the applications to overturn...

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