Africa

S. African court issues warrant for ex-President Zuma

Arrest warrant to get effective if 77-year-old former president does not appear in next hearing on May 6

Hassan Isılow   | 04.02.2020
S. African court issues warrant for ex-President Zuma South Africa President Jacob Zuma

JOHANNESBURG 

A court in South Africa issued an arrest warrant for former President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday for failing to appear at a pre-trial hearing in a corruption case. 

Zuma’s lawyer Dan Mantsha told the court the former president could not attend the hearing as he was not well and receiving treatment in an undisclosed foreign country.

But the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) questioned the authenticity of the medical certificate presented by Mantsha and said the certificate seemed to have been altered.

Judge Dhaya Pillay ruled the warrant will get effective if the 77-year-old former leader does not appear in the next hearing on May 6.

Speaking to local media outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court, Mantsha expressed disappointment by the court’s decision, saying, “The accused [Zuma] is not at fault for not coming to court. There was evidence before court that the accused is not well. A medical report was handed by a military hospital which follows the procedure,” he said.

Zuma faces a number of corruption and fraud charges against him in connection with a $2.5 billion arms deal in the late 1990s.

The charges against Zuma had initially been dropped in 2009 by former NPA head Mokotedi Mpshe just weeks before he was elected president. However, the charges were reinstated in 2018.

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