The Pietermaritzburg High Court in South Africa has again adjourned the case between the former South African President Jacob Zuma and the people of South Africa, to take place on the 26th May 2021 after Mr. Zuma pleaded not guilty today before the court.
The defense lawyer Thabani Masuku told the press that their client is not guilty of all the charges made against him by the state prosecutors and plan to fully prove that on May 26th, when the case will officially kick off.
Today’s case was again adjourned because former President Jacob Zuma’s newly constituted defense team questioned the lead prosecutor’s objectivity and said they would need to seek his recusal because he won’t be fair enough during the hearing.
Zuma is being accused of corruption and embezzlement while he was president of South Africa. He collected $35,000 annually from Thales, a French company, and prevented the government anti-corruption agency from investigating the company while he was president.
The state also argues that Zuma is involved in a corruption network with his firm Nkobi Group and the Thales Company, which came together under the banner as Thomson-CSF, which formed a consortium that won a 2.6 billion rands bid to provide combat suites for new navy frigates.
But Zuma says the charges are politically motivated and has described them as a “witch-hunt” by his enemies who want to see him unhappy and fail as a former president who has done much to build South Africa.
The case is being pushed by President Cyril Ramaphosa, who has promised to fight against corruption and to bring all former leaders or ministers who have been involved in corruption to book.
Zuma told his supporters; “You can’t have a case for so many years. That the charges keep changing and changing. But I don’t want to say too much, we will say what we have to say in court,” and conclude that he is innocent and will prove that in court.
In 2005, he was accused of raping a lady who claimed that the former president had unprotected sex with her before the court, but the case was acquitted. Currently, he is facing 18 charges, including corruption in the arms deal.