The Pietermaritzburg High Court has postponed the arms deal corruption case against former South African president Jacob Zuma to August. The Witness reports that the former president faces fraud and corruption charges linked to the arms deal procurement programme in the 1990s. Zuma’s trial was supposed to happen today. Still, the court postponed it after he applied to have the case’s lead prosecutor, Advocate Billy Downer, removed.
Zuma claims that the court should strip Downer of his title as a prosecutor due to his alleged bias. He had previously failed to have the courts, including the Constitutional Court, remove Downer. However, Zuma is now arguing that Downer should not continue as the lead prosecutor since he is facing criminal charges.
This latest development comes after Zuma initiated private prosecution proceedings against Downer, alleging that the senior prosecutor leaked his medical report to News24 senior journalist Karyn Maughan. However, both Downer and Maughan have requested the court to half the private prosecution, stating that the medical report was already a public document. Previously, the court learned that a member of Downer’s prosecuting team, not the senior prosecutor, sent the document to Maughan.
Judge Nkosinathi Chilli presided over the latest proceedings after the previous judge. In this case, Piet Koen recused himself.
Picture: Twitter / tumi_Phefo