Ailing Zuma Needs Urgent Procedure, Court Hears

The high court in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday postponed ailing former president Jacob Zuma’s graft matter to next month.

Judge Piet Koen said the matter would be set for 9 and 10 September, 2021. He also directed that Zuma’s doctor should render the former president’s medical report to the court by no later than 20 August.

Earlier, Advocate Dali Mpofu presented a letter from Zuma’s doctor indicating that he has a serious condition that requires an urgent medical procedure.

Without specifying the exact condition, the doctor’s letter says the problem has festered for the last 18 months.

The former president is serving a 15-month prison sentence for contempt of court at Estcourt Correctional Centre.

On Friday Zuma was rushed to a hospital outside the prison after a routine medical check. The 79-year-old former president remains hospitalised. He did not attend the virtual hearing on Tuesday.

In postponing the matter, Judge Koen directed the state to appoint its own medical practitioner to examine Zuma to assess if he is fit to stand trial.

Zuma faces 16 charges of fraud, graft, and racketeering related to the 1999 purchase of fighter jets, and patrol boats. He is jointly charged with Thales, the French company.

Allegations are that Thales paid bribes of half a million rand at a time to Zuma, to ensure their part in any dodgy deals would be swept under the carpet.

Judge Koen excused the Thales representative “until further notice” depending on the outcome of Zuma’s recovery.

The National Prosecuting Authority was represented by prosecutor Advocate Wim Trengrove.