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Foundation slams court’s decision to hear Zuma’s trial virtually

The Jacob Zuma Foundation is not happy with the decision by the Pietermaritzburg High Court to virtually hear former South…

The Jacob Zuma Foundation is not happy with the decision by the Pietermaritzburg High Court to virtually hear former South African president Jacob Zuma’s corruption trial that is set to resume on Monday.Zuma is to appear in court to answer 16 corruption charges with co-accused, the French defence firm Thales, which they incurred following a state arms scandal involving US$2.1 billion in the 1990s. 

Zuma has pleaded not guilty to all charges, saying the case was a political witch-hunt against him.

But in a media statement issued here, the court said the hearing would be heard virtually on Monday.

The JZF said it was concerned by the court’s directive as the decision was not consistent with provisions of both the Criminal Procedure Act and the South African Constitution.

The matter should be heard “physically when the country was calmer” – and not virtually — following the current violence and looting that has engulfed parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces, the foundation said.

The riots were triggered by the incarceration of Zuma, who is serving a 15-month jail term for violating a Constitutional Court order on a different matter.

But the matter of contention at the moment is related to his corruption trial, where he is accused of benefitting from South Africa’s multi-billion-dollar arms procurement deal with French defence firm, Thales, in 1999.

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