Zuma to fight charges

African National Congress president Jacob Zuma will not stand trial on August 4, instead he will be seeking to have the decision to charge him declared unlawful.

The legal teams of Zuma and his co-accused met the National Prosecuting Authority and the KwaZulu-Natal Judge President Vuka Tshabalala on Thursday to finalise a court date.

The meeting was held in Tshabalala’s chambers on Thursday afternoon while the media waited in the lobby of the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

Shortly after 3pm, the legal teams for both Thint and Zuma emerged but declined to speak to reporters.

Tshabalala issued a statement which read: “Following agreement between the parties, the Judge President has confirmed that he will appoint a trial judge to hear a preliminary application in Pietermaritzburg on 4th August and the trial will be adjourned to a date to be determined by the trial judge.”

The statement did not give details of the preliminary application and a court official said Tshabalala was not prepared to speak to the media.

State prosecutor Billy Downer said Zuma’s legal team—Michael Hulley and Advocate Kemp J Kemp—had said they intended to file an application seeking to have the NPA’s decision to prosecute Zuma unlawful.

Downer said he had no details of the application, but that Zuma’s legal team were required to file the necessary documents “some time in June”.

He said he was reluctant to comment on the nature of the application as he had not seen any documentation and because it had yet to be lodged with the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

“I want to put it on record that the sate is ready to proceed [with Zuma’s trial],” he said.

The NPA lodged its indictment to charge Zuma and Thint with 18 charges, including fraud, corruption, money laundering and racketeering, on December 28 2007. - Sapa


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