South Africa: Accused Number One - Zuma's Day in Court Arrives ... but Don't Hold Your Breath

President Jacob Zuma receives the Arms Deal Report from Judges Willie Seriti and Thekiso Musi on December 30, 2015 (file image).
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Proceedings are probably heading for postponement because the former president, Accused Number One, is currently without formal legal representation following his team's withdrawal on 21 April.

The much-anticipated fraud, corruption and racketeering trial of former president Jacob Zuma is set to start in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Monday, bringing to a head close on two decades of drama, intrigue and investigations into South Africa's multibillion-rand Arms Deal.

But despite African National Congress VIPs like the recently suspended Ace Magashule and party leaders in KwaZulu-Natal saying they will be at court in support of Zuma, the hype is likely to be short-lived, with proceedings probably heading for postponement because the former president, and Accused Number One, is currently without formal legal representation following his team's withdrawal on 21 April.

Zuma is accused of receiving 791 payments, totalling R4.1-million, between 1995 and 2004 from his former financial/economic adviser Schabir Shaik - who did the work without demanding a fee from Zuma - and Shaik's companies, to help French arms manufacturer Thales, Accused Number Two, secure lucrative defence contracts from the SA government as part of South Africa's 1999 armaments deal.

According to the State's final schedule...

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