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Our regular Zuma Stalingrad update

Former president Jacob Zuma is meant to be facing charges related to the arms deal at the Pietermaritzburg High Court. But being Zuma, he’s managed to throw up two obstacles to proceedings actually getting underway. The first, in May, involved questioning state prosecutor Billy Downer’s impartiality. 

The second emerged on Tuesday. Zuma was meant to appear in court; instead, the court received a letter referencing a mysterious illness Zuma has apparently been battling for 18 months that suddenly meant he couldn’t attend proceedings. 

As the state put it… if it’s been going on for 18 months why was it now suddenly an emergency? Zuma was moved to a hospital on Friday for medical observation, according to prison officials, who did not provide details on his condition. Judge Piet Koen on Tuesday granted a postponement to September 9 and ordered Zuma’s team to produce a medical report by 20 August. He also ordered the state to appoint a medical doctor of its choice to assess whether Zuma was fit to stand trial and give evidence.

Zuma is still in jail, in case you’re wondering, serving his 15-month sentence for contempt, and waiting to hear the ConCourt’s decision on that one. So many court cases, so little time. 🙄

This article appeared as part of The Wrap, 12 August 2021. Sign up to receive our weekly updates.