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By Cheryl Kahla

Content Strategist

Zuma’s arms deal trial will no longer ‘sit as scheduled’

Jacob Zuma's court hearing on 15 August 2023 at the KwaZulu-Natal High Court has been replaced with a virtual case management meeting.

In a significant change to the legal proceedings surrounding former president Jacob Zuma, the hearing which was set to take place on 15 August 2023 has been cancelled.

Lusanda D. Ntuli, the deputy director of communications for the office of the Chief Justice, said a virtual case management meeting will be held instead.

JG Zuma v the State

The Pietermaritzburg High Court was set to hear arguments on Tuesday in a new application by Zuma to have state advocate Billy Downer removed from the arms deal corruption case.

Ntuli said: “The matter J G Zuma v the State, which was set down to be heard from 15 to 16 August 2023 at the KwaZulu-Natal Division of the High Court, Pietermaritzburg, will no longer sit as scheduled.”

“Instead, Judge Thoba Poyo-Diwati, will conduct a virtual case management meeting with all parties involved on the dates previously scheduled for the sitting.”

Private prosecution

It comes after the Pietermaritzburg High Court ruled in favour of Downer and journalist Karyn Maughan, enforcing its judgment on Zuma’s private prosecution.

The high court had earlier declared Zuma’s private prosecution unlawful.

Zuma accused Downer of leaking his confidential medical information to Maughan in August 2021.

ALSO READ: Zuma slapped with costs as court rules in favour of Downer, Maughan

Zuma’s release from prison

On Friday, Zuma was released from prison on “special remission”, moments after he reported to the Estcourt Correctional Services facility at 6am where he was processed. He left shortly after 7am.

The former president arrived at the prison after his medical parole was declared unlawful.

WATCH: ‘Ramaphosa believes the rule of law has been served’ in Zuma jail decision – Lamola

Special remission

Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Ronald Lamola, said his release was in line with a remission process to avoid overcrowding of prisons.

As a result of the remission, he will not be on the parole system.

Zuma was handed a 15-month sentence in July 2021 for defying a Constitutional Court order to appear at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into allegations of state capture.

He was released on medical parole in September 2021, having served just two months of the sentence.

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Chief Justice Jacob Zuma KwaZulu-Natal (KZN)