We’ve been telling you for some time how former president Jacob Zuma has tried to delay his decades-old arms deal trial. His most recent tactic was to argue that the lead prosecutor is biased. (This is separate from the drama around Zuma being released on medical parole after he was imprisoned for standing up the state capture commission). 😓 Judge Piet Koen on Tuesday dismissed Zuma’s “special plea” to have prosecutor Billy Downer recused.
Zuma will now have to stand trial for the infamous deal with French arms manufacturer Thales, which dates back to the 1990s.
Koen’s decision would have meant the trial could proceed from April 2022 in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court. But it doesn’t take a genius to predict what happened next. Zuma intends to take the ruling on appeal in Bloemfontein’s Supreme Court of Appeal, a move straight from the Stalingrad handbook that will only delay justice, some more. The back and forth is exhausting, but we’re cautiously optimistic Zuma will get the day in court he claims to want…in this lifetime, maybe.