Zuma may have reached a limit beyond the law

Former President Jacob Zuma, facing charges of fraud, extortion, corruption and money laundering, has repeatedly said he wants to spend the day in court. For the past 16 years or so, he has spent days in court, but his criminal trials haven’t made much progress.


The matter was postponed when he last appeared in court on February 23 and the case was found to be ready for trial. This was in line with the president’s pretrial criminal court hearing directive, which began on May 17 and continued until June 20 and then whenever necessary.


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A few weeks ago, Zuma caused a ripple of concern when he resigned from the legal team. There was no reason.

Perhaps this was another trick designed by a man looking forward to a day in court.

At the dawn of May 17, Judge Piet Koen appeared on the bench. The state is ready, Zuma finds a new legal team to take over from Eric Mabza’s lawyer, and Thales Group’s legal counsel is there, Patricia de Lille Public Works, the first witness to appear in the state. -The Minister of Infrastructure was ready. ..

Drille tweeted. “As the first witness to former President Jacob Zuma’s case on the #ArmsDeal issue, I am ready to fulfill my civil obligations. I always believe in judicial independence and, like many South Africans, I am anxious that this issue will move forward and be finalized. ”

Judge Koen quickly addressed the first issue, the replacement of Zuma’s former lawyer.

Cohen found that the change of Zuma’s defense counsel did not cause prejudice against Zuma and the state.

Zuma is now represented by Tabani Mask SC, who also confirmed that he was available for the entire duration of the trial.

Repellent application

The cynics speculated that the trial would be postponed again.

And these sarcastic shops said that chief prosecutor Billy Downer applied to Cohen for his (downer’s) repulsion on behalf of Zuma a week ago, and the paperwork would come on Monday (May). You would have smiled self-righteously when you told him to let him know. 17).

And on Monday, Musk said Downer would have a substantive plea under Section 106 (1) (h) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CPA).

This section specifies that: “When the accused sues, he can complain to the prosecutor that he does not have the right to prosecute.”

Downer said he hadn’t seen the treatise yet.

He introduced Section 106 (3) of Certified Accountants to the court. This, in essence, stipulates that the accused must give the prosecutor reasonable notice. Musk issued a notice on Monday, but did not plea the plea, which would be supported by substantive documents containing evidence under the oath. Downer was informed that the evidence under the affidavit was not yet ready. Certain annexes must also be included before signing the affidavit.

Downer advised the court that it would not be in the best interest to deal with this issue in small increments, prosecute it now, and address the plea of ​​Article 106 (1) (h) at a later stage. Some because the court must consider the documents “not given to us” and their position and undoubtedly have to respond under an oath from one or more of them. He said it was inevitable that there would be a delay. Allow the court to properly evaluate the plea by the national prosecutor’s office or otherwise.

Koen revealed that this was not an application for Downer’s repulsion. “… What has been raised has been raised as a plea in the context of Article 106 (1) (h).”


Koen considered the practicality of having the accused submit an affidavit on all annexes, without having to return to court every few days, and giving Downer the opportunity to reflect and consider it. ..

Koen questioned whether it made sense to consider Article 106 (1) (h) until sued.

“It may be formalism, I don’t know. If it was your application for disqualification, it will be notified and followed by an affidavit. Section until it is actually sued. Is it procedurally correct to address this with the support of 106 (1) (h), or by Wednesday, May 19, an affidavit detailing the rationale for the plea has been prepared. Are you faced with a situation where a plea is filed and the plea is recorded that day? ”The affidavit merely provides the details of the plea.

Downer replied that all this had an impact on the fact that the state had to be notified and was not notified. “I heard it for the first time today, but I haven’t seen it yet. From the perspective of Section 106 (3), this can be interpreted as a notice of the substantive content of the notice, and without notice they plea. He added that he could not consider.

Koen summarized that an affidavit will be submitted on behalf of Zuma and will provide the basis for a plea on Article 106 (1) (h) by Wednesday (May 19).

Basically, the state accepts it as a notice, submits an affidavit of response if necessary, and considers its position even if no formal plea has been entered. This is accepted assuming that the court will reopen on May 26 and the plea will be recorded on that day.

“Unless it is formally entered as a plea, it is not correct to hear discussions about what might be included in the affidavit,” Koen said.

Downer agreed with respect, except in the proviso that something they disagree with might change their position.

Koen argued that the affidavit deals with the reason for advancing the plea in Section 106 (1) (h): “no more, no less.”

Musk agreed with this approach “as long as he had the opportunity to formally enter it as a plea at the next appearance.”

The circle of justice spins slowly, but perhaps finally, the trial will see the light of day.

Zuma may have reached the limit beyond the law.

read: Judge Zondo solves a tricky deadlock (July 2019)

Zuma may have reached a limit beyond the law

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