Lawyers lodge another bid to keep Zuma out of court

Lawyers lodge another bid to keep Zuma out of court.
Lawyers lodge another bid to keep Zuma out of court.
Image: Jackie Clausen.

Former president Jacob Zuma’s lawyers have asked the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to postpone his appearance in court next week.

This is after Zuma was summoned to appear in the High Court in Durban on Friday next week.

His lawyer‚ Michael Hulley‚ said they had written to the NPA asking for the postponement pending the outcomes of the review application Zuma was set to lodge‚ and the application brought by the DA regarding his legal fees.

The review application will not be lodged before the court appearance.

"We would like the review to take its course. If he is successful‚ then — in exactly what happened last time — the charges will be withdrawn; if not‚ then we will have to look at whether there are any further avenues Mr Zuma would want to pursue as in the permanent stay application or whether we get on with the trial‚" he said.

Hulley said Zuma also needed to know whether he would be responsible for his own legal fees or whether the state would continue to fund this.

The NPA has not responded to the letter yet‚ he said.

The legal costs for the former president’s bid to avoid having to face charges of fraud‚ corruption and racketeering amounted to R15.3-million.

Last week‚ the DA said it wanted the High Court in Pretoria to order that Zuma pay back to the Treasury any money that the state had paid towards his personal legal costs‚ in relation to the corruption charges he faces.

In response to a question in Parliament‚ President Cyril Ramaphosa said the state was paying Zuma’s legal costs because the allegations against him came while he was in the employ of government.

The EFF is also expected to lodge an application to have Zuma repay the money.

On Monday‚ an indictment was served on Zuma‚ summoning him to appear in court on April 6. The indictment comes days after National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams announced that Zuma would face the criminal charges that were dropped in 2009.

Zuma is facing 16 charges — one count of racketeering‚ two counts of corruption‚ one count of money laundering and 12 counts of fraud. This is in relation to 783 questionable payments connected with the arms deal‚ over which Zuma’s former financial adviser‚ Schabir Shaik‚ was jailed for corruption.

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