South Africa’s Zuma Makes Final Push to Avoid Arms Deal Charges

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Jacob Zuma’s defence team will present multiple arguments before the Pietermaritzburg High Court to have the former president’s failed special plea in the Arms Deal matter heard by the Supreme Court of Appeal, writes Des Erasmus for Daily Maverick.

Zuma’s legal runway to avoid his day in court is running out, but the 79-year-old’s nifty application of the Stalingrad defence continues to give him wings. This includes attempting to enter further evidence into the matter currently before the court, questioning law, and running a private prosecution against the lead prosecutor in the case, advocate Billy Downer.

Zuma is accused of receiving 791 payments, totaling R4.1-million, between 1995 and 2004 from his former financial advisor/economic advisor Schabir Shaik and Shaik’s companies to help French arms manufacturer Thales, accused number two, secure lucrative defence contracts from the government, as part of the country’s multi-billion rand 1999 armaments deal.

The three-year long Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture was formed to probe allegations of corruption within the ruling African National Congress durring Zuma’s tenure as leader.