Former President Jacob Zuma’s recusal application will be heard in the Pietermaritzburg High Court in KwaZulu-Natal, in his absence.
During his last court appearance, the case was adjourned after Judge Piet Koen gave all parties concerned time to assess Zuma’s medical records.
He said the case – involving French arms manufacturer Thales and the controversial 1999 multibillion-rand arms deal – should continue in Zuma’s absence.
Absence due to medical parole
Zuma is currently on medical parole, following his brief 15-month incarceration at the Estcourt Correctional Centre for refusing to appear before the Zondo Commission.
Zuma consulted with his legal team earlier this week and instructed his lawyers to challenge his jail sentence at the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
His team indicated they want lead prosecutor Billy Downer off the case for “acting in a comprised manner“, saying Downer “has an axe to grind with [Zuma]”.
Application dismissed on Friday
Justice Sisi Khampepe delivered the judgement after the ConCourt’s full bench deliberated on the outcome over the past two months.
In a majority judgement, the apex court upheld its previous ruling dismissing Zuma’s application with costs – including the cost of two counsels.
“The majority of the constitutional court justices find that Mr Zuma has not met the statutory requirements for a rescission,” Khampepe said.
A ‘political prisoner’
The former president released the first statement since his release from prison, in which he criticised the processes that resulted in his imprisonment.
He said history would vindicate him, adding that South Africa “is in the process of changing from a constitutional democracy to a constitutional dictatorship”.
He said many South Africans were “blind to this reality […] because they had been successfully hypnotised by the long-standing anti-Zuma narrative
“It is perhaps convenient or even benefiting for others that the laws of this country be repeatedly bent and manipulated when dealing with Zuma”, he said on Monday.
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Compiled by Cheryl Kahla