State asks court to issue warrant of arrest for Jacob Zuma

Jacob Zuma.
Jacob Zuma Jacob Zuma.
Image: REUTERS/Rogan Ward

The state has asked a Pietermaritzburg high court judge to issue a warrant of arrest for former president Jacob Zuma after his failing to appear at the arms deal case.

Zuma is said to be receiving medical attention in Cuba. His lawyers have said his health issues were a matter of security and was being handled by the military.

Zuma is said to have submitted a medical certificate which explains why he was not able to appear in court.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Bulelwa Makeke said that the reasons Zuma’s lawyers provided were not sufficient and state lawyers have now requested the judge to issue a warrant for his arrest.

Zuma stands accused of corruption and money laundering after he was accused of benefiting from the arms deal contract and receiving bribes from French company Thales.

Zuma, through his Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma Foundation, announced that he would not be in court due to health-related issues.

The state asked his lawyers to furnish them with proof that he was indeed unable to present himself in court.

“He didn’t give sufficient evidence like he was asked. His lawyers were asked to give evidence. They gave something but obviously the state is not satisfied. We say that’s inadequate because it doesn’t tell them anything about the status that warrants him to [not show up] because you can be sick and still appear in court,” said Makeke.

“So the medical evidence or the certificate they submitted should have been able to give a sense that indeed the former president is really not able to appear in court.”

Makeke said they had submitted an application for the warrant of arrest to the judge and were awaiting to hear whether it was successful or not.

The case continues.

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