After a week’s delay, former president Jacob Zuma’s doctors finally filed their report on the 79-year-old’s fitness to stand trial for corruption.
NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga confirmed that Zuma’s medical report was handed in on Friday, but he refused to disclose any details about the matter since it was confidential.
Earlier in the week, Mhaga confirmed to The Citizen that Zuma’s lawyers had missed the deadline of 20 August to file the medical report
The Department of Correctional Services had earlier confirmed that Zuma had a surgical procedure last Saturday, having been initially hospitalised earlier this month for medical observation for an undisclosed illness.
The department indicated at the time that the decision to take Zuma for hospitalisation was made after a “routine observation”.
However, the military’s medical boss, Brigadier-General Dr Mcebisi Zukile Mdutywa, revealed in a letter that the former president had suffered a “traumatic injury” in November last year.
Mdutywa, who leads the South African Military Health Service’s (SAMHS’s) presidential medical unit, detailed how Zuma needed to undergo “an extensive emergency procedure” and that it would take six months to treat him.
Arms deal trial
The corruption trial, which involves Zuma and French arms company Thales, is set to resume on 9-10 September after it was postponed by Koen due to the former president being in hospital.
During the proceedings, Koen directed that a medical report – as well as Zuma’s doctors testifying in court – would be required when the case resumes.
Koen also indicated that the state was allowed to appoint a doctor to examine Zuma and ascertain his fitness to stand trial.
The publication further reported that the state had allowed Zuma’s doctors to file their report on the former president’s health status by 27 August.
Zuma has been serving a prison sentence at the Estcourt Correctional Centre in KwaZulu-Natal.
He was slapped with a 15-month jail sentence when he was found guilty of contempt by the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) in June for failing to comply with the apex court’s ruling forcing him to appear before the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, which has now been concluded.
In May, Zuma pleaded not guilty, and his legal team filed a special plea application to have Downer recused from prosecuting the case.
Zuma’s legal team said Downer had smeared their client’s name and allegedly leaked information related to the corruption case to the media.
The former president wants to be acquitted of all charges should his application for Downer to recuse himself succeed.
The NPA has denied all allegations made against Downer.