Zuma’s special plea hearing postponed, NPA to review medical report

Former President Jacob Zuma’s special plea hearing to remove National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) prosecutor Billy Downer from arms trafficking bribery case to be postponed .

NPA spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said on Tuesday The citizen the case would be heard virtually Thursday by the High Court of Pietermaritzburg. He said it would be postponed for a virtual hearing from September 20-21 after all parties agreed to the postponement.

This will allow a medical team of state-appointed specialists, in cooperation with Zuma’s medical team, to examine his medical evidence.

It emerged last week that Zuma had refused to be examined by doctors appointed by the NPA after his corruption case was postponed due to his admission to a military hospital in August with an undisclosed illness.

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Mhaga said in a brief statement: “In view of the confidentiality of the medical reports, no further comments will be released as all matters relating to them will be considered in court at the next hearing.”

Zuma and French arms maker Thales are on trial over the controversial multibillion rand arms deal. The former president faces several charges, including fraud, corruption, money laundering and racketeering.

Thales, who has been accused of bribing Zuma, faces four counts.

In May, earlier this year, Zuma’s legal team filed its affidavit asking the Pietermaritzburg High Court to challenge Downer from continuing the case. Zuma argues that Downer lacks the independence and impartiality to continue the corruption trial.

On August 27, Zuma’s doctors submitted his medical report on his fitness to stand trial after having exceeded the deadline set by the High Court by seven days.

The Corrections Department announced on Sunday that Zuma had been granted medical parole after receiving two medical reports about his condition.

The former president was jailed in July at Estcourt Correctional Center in KwaZulu-Natal for 15 months for contempt of the Constitutional Court.

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