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South Africa ex-president Jacob Zuma leaves to appear to hearing, court issues arrest warrant

Last updated on February 5, 2020

However, the court stated that the implementation of this warrant will probably be postponed until May 6 if the situation is scheduled to resume.

Zuma’s attorneys said he was unable to attend the pre-trial hearing Tuesday because he had been sick and receiving treatment overseas, in the most recent twist in a situation that has witnessed numerous legal ends over a decade and a half.

The High Court at the northwestern town of Pietermaritzburg issued the warrant once it contested the authenticity of this ill note stated to have been signed with a military physician.

“The court takes that Mr. Zuma could be unwell,” said estimate Dhaya Pillay. “However, this courtroom needs dependable evidence that Mr. Zuma is sick.”

“It isn’t apparent that (the physician ) is a normal practitioner,” she explained.

State prosecutor Billy Downer said it had been a”criminal offense” for its 77-year-old Zuma, who had been in the office between 2009 and 2018, to bypass court.

Zuma’s attorney Dan Manisha told reporters outside the court that”our courts don’t have any sympathy, no empathy”.

“We’re extremely worried when judges issue warrants under the situation such as this when the entire state knows that president Zuma isn’t well… president Zuma experienced two surgeries in early January this year,” Manisha explained.

“When you begin to issue warrants under these conditions, people begin to question whether we’re equal under the law”

He explained for the court to uncertainty” if he’s ill or not, is complete unthinkable”.

Manisha pledged that the”older” Zuma, will attend court when he’s healthy, as he’s done for past hearings.

Local press indicated that Zuma is currently in Cuba undergoing therapy for an undisclosed disease.

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The former president hasn’t tweeted since.

Zuma is alleged to have taken bribes worth four thousand rands ($270,000) associated with some $3.4 million arms deal in 1999 when he was deputy president.

In most Zuma faces 16 charges of fraud, graft, and racketeering about the purchase of fighter jets, patrol ships, and military gear when he was deputy to the nation’s second black president, Thabo Mbeki.

The two Zuma and French defense company Thales, that provided gear for navy vessels, deny the charges.

Last year Zuma tried to halt the trial from moving ahead.

If the trial occurs, it could be the first-time Zuma faces a courtroom on graft charges, even though a series of accusations over his long political career.

Critics have dubbed Zuma that the”Teflon president” because of their reputed ability to prevent judicial reckoning.

He’s also been accused of organizing the systematic plunder of government coffers at a scandal called”state capture”.

Zuma looked at an inquiry into the scandal in July, placing on a defiant functionality and denying all wrongdoing.

He had been forced to resign in 2018 from the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party following a nine-year reign marked by corruption allegations and dwindling popularity.

The major opposition Democratic Alliance hailed the merit decision, stating the court”has set its foot down and revealed Mr. Zuma he could no more keep on wasting the court’s time and public funds because he’s too scared to face the music”.