In South Africa, the trial of former president Jabob Zuma in the corruption case relating to the purchase of military equipment from five European armaments companies, while he was the country’s vice-president in 1999, was postponed this Tuesday, for health reasons.
In a short virtual hearing, High Court Judge Piet Koen said the former head of state’s next hearing is set for September 9, 2021.
The judge granted the postponement, but ordered Jacob Zuma’s team to produce a medical report by August 20. He also ordered the state to appoint a doctor of its choice to assess whether the former president is fit to stand trial and testify.
The accused’s lawyer, Dali Mpofu, said his client’s medical condition was a matter of confidentiality.
Incarcerated in Estcourt prison in Kwa-Zulu Natal province since July 8, where he is serving a 15-month sentence for ignoring summons from a commission investigating state corruption under his 2009 presidency -2019, Jacob Zuma was admitted on August 6 in an outside hospital to be placed under medical observation.
Aged 79, the former South African president faces sixteen counts of fraud, corruption and racketeering linked to the purchase, in 1999, of military equipment from five European armaments companies, while he was vice-president.
He is accused of having received more than 4,000,000 rand (or $ 275,000) from Thales, which was one of the winning companies for the hefty contract worth around $ 2 billion.
His imprisonment last July sparked a wave of violence and looting in his province of KwaZulu-Natal and in the financial capital Johannesburg.