August 04, 2021

South Africa: Zuma Permitted Leave to Attend Court

South Africa’s former president, Jacob Zuma, has been granted special leave from prison to appear in court for his corruption trial next week.

The 79-year-old politician’s legal team filed a two-page submission, declaring to Pietermaritzburg High Court official, Judge Piet Koen, that his constitutional rights would be infringed upon if his criminal case were to continue as a virtual hearing.

Koen ruled that the matter would proceed in an open court on Tuesday, 10 August.

The decision means that Zuma will make his second public appearance since he was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment at Escourt Correctional Centre in Escourt, KwaZulu-Natal Province last month for refusing to appear before court in a separate case.

He was previously allowed compassionate leave on 22 July to visit his home of Nkandla in the same province so as to bury his younger brother, Michael Zuma.

Mr Zuma is currently facing multiple charges relating to allegations that he accepted bribes during the country’s 1990 arms deal. He and his legal representatives have denied all wrongdoing.

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