NATIONAL NEWS - The corruption trial related to the 1999 strategic defence acquisition, popularly known as the arms deal, has been postponed to 23 February 2021, pending outstanding pre-trial matters between parties.
Representatives of defendants in the trial, including former president Jacob Zuma and French arms company Thales came to an agreement for a postponement to next year, the Pietermaritzburg High Court heard on Tuesday morning.
The court granted the parties a consent order to which all parties agreed to postpone the case in order for a second matter, in which Thales is challenging its corruption charges, among other outstanding matters.
The parties also wanted to await further clarity on travel restrictions under Covid-19, and for Thales’ request for better particulars on their charges.
Zuma and the arms manufacturer face a litany of charges including, fraud, racketeering and money laundering.
Travel restrictions led to the matter being postponed in September because it prevented important witnesses fromo other countries from taking the stand.
Zuma’s charges relate to 783 suspicious payments from his former financial advisor Schabir Shaik to the tune of R1.2 million.