Jacob Zuma’s anticipated court appearance in doubt as he remains in hospital

Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Durban – The appearance of former president Jacob Zuma before the Pietermaritzburg High Court is in doubt as he remains in hospital and there are indications he might not appear

Zuma was expected to appear before the court on Tuesday and to be at the side of his Advocate Dali Mpofu SC led legal team when they are set to argue why the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) top prosecutor, Advocate Billy Downer SC, should not lead his prosecution for his alleged arms deal corruption.

On Friday the department of correctional services said Zuma left his Estcourt prison cell where he is serving 15 months sentence for contempt of the Constitutional Court, to undergo routine medical check up with the military health services.

By Monday morning, Zuma was still in hospital and it was not clear when he would be discharged.

Further placing his appearance in doubt was a statement from the Jacob Zuma foundation which said it had learnt all legal parties to the matter were mulling a postponement.

“Following last night confirmation by the Department of Correctional Services that (former) President Zuma is still in hospital, the foundation has learnt that his and the NPA legal teams are discussing making a joint approach to the judge for a postponement of this week’s proceedings in the Pietermaritzburg High Court,” the foundation tweeted.

However, the NPA said it could not comment on the reports coming out of the foundation until the presiding judge, Piet Koen, made a pronouncement.

“We cannot comment on the matter at this stage until there is pronouncement from the judge hearing the matter,” Mthunzi Mhaga, the spokesperson of the NPA said on Monday.