Home South African Will Zuma appeal … or allow trial to proceed?

Will Zuma appeal … or allow trial to proceed?

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With time on his side, Zuma can today still indicate to the court that he intends to appeal, thus halting the imminent start of the trial.

Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Mike Hutchings/Reuters

Durban – Former President Jacob Zuma is today returning to court with the nation in the dark over whether he will allow his corruption, fraud and money laundering trial to proceed, or if he will throw a spanner in the works by appealing.

The ex-president can allow the matter to proceed and later appeal the sentence if not happy, or ask the same court to permit him to appeal Friday’s judgment, which ruled that the matter must be heard instead of being struck off the roll.

Friday’s ruling by a full bench of the Pietermaritzburg High Court was that Zuma should be tried, after he had applied to have the matter quashed for good.

With time on his side, Zuma can today still indicate to the court that he intends to appeal, thus halting the imminent start of the trial.

However, Professor Pierre de Vos, a constitutional law expert at the University of Cape Town, said Zuma’s chances of success should he decide to appeal, were slim. “Mr Zuma’s problem is his arguments in previous cases over the past 15 years the courts have already said those arguments don’t hold water,” De Vos said.

Despite being out of office and having lost power to maintain a network of patronage, the ex-president will have supporters from ANC members from eThekwini and Pietermaritzburg.  

Supporters have arranged 20 buses from Durban and 30 buses to move around Pietermaritzburg to pick supporters and transport them to the court precinct, where Zuma would address them after his appearance.

They were expecting between 5000 and 8000 people, a support organiser said.

Political Bureau