South African High Court dismisses Zuma’s appeal to delay corruption trial

Zuma’s application prayed for a permanent stay of prosecution due to an unreasonable delay in the commencement of the proceedings
South African High Court dismisses Zuma’s appeal to delay corruption trial

A South African High Court has ruled that there is no compelling reason why former President Jacob Zuma should be granted leave to appeal the dismissal of his bid for a permanent stay of prosecution.

“It is in the interest of justice and bringing the matter to finality that no appeal should ensue,” part of the ruling in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg on Friday read.

Zuma’s application prayed for a permanent stay of prosecution due to an unreasonable delay in the commencement of the proceedings which will make a fair trial of the case impossible.

On the delays in the trial, the judgment said another court would not find differently if all factors were considered.

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The three-judge ruling held Zuma’s submission to lack merit, over-emphasising on the seriousness of the allegations levelled against him.

“The seriousness of the crime is but one of the factors to be considered in an application for a permanent stay. We, therefore, are not persuaded that another court, in particular, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), would come to a different conclusion.”

The KwaZulu-Natal High Court also dismissed Zuma’s assertion that his rights were violated.

The Court in its judgement also condemned accusations by Zuma’s legal team that the court violated some sections of the Criminal Procedure Act.

It stated in clear terms that ” … comments or allegations that are scandalous or vexatious to the court ought to be avoided at all costs, as they can bring the administration of justice into disrepute.”

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Zuma was handed a costs order because his complaints were found to be untrue. He is charged, along with French arms company Thales, on one count of racketeering, 12 counts of fraud, four counts of corruption and one count of money laundering.

The Court also dismissed Thales’ application for a stay of prosecution.


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