Publication: Sapa Issued: Pietermaritzburg Date: 2008-08-15 Reporter: Sapa

Zuma Trial Date to be Argued in December




Issued Pietermaritzburg
Reporter Sapa


Legal teams for the state and African National Congress president Jacob Zuma will come to the Pietermaritzburg High Court on December 8 to argue over a date when he should stand trial *1.

Agreement over court dates, including the dates when documents need to be submitted to court, was reached shortly before the two parties were due to appear in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Friday.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesman Tlali Tlali was expected to release details of the agreement reached between the two parties shortly.

Among the dates decided were Zuma's planned application for a stay of prosecution.

Zuma faces a charge of racketeering, four charges of corruption, a charge of money laundering and 12 charges of fraud related to a multi-billion rand arms government arms deal.

Zuma was charged in 2005 but that case was struck from the role in 2006. He was re-charged in December 2007.

The two Thint companies -- Thint Holding (Southern Africa) Pty Ltd and Thint (Pty) Ltd -- are the South African subsidiaries of the French arms manufacturing giant Thales International (formerly Thomson-CFS). They each face a charge of racketeering and two counts of corruption.

The NPA has in the past indicated that it would like Zuma's trial to take place in the second quarter of 2009, between mid-April and the end of June.

Earlier this month Judge Chris Nicholson heard Zuma's application to have the decision to charge him declared unlawful.

Nicholson's ruling on the application was expected to be heard on September 12 *2.

Unlike previous occasions, there were no Zuma supporters outside the court building. Zuma was not present on Friday, although a large contingent of journalists was.

With acknowledgements to Richard Davies and Sapa.

*1*2    The wise judge is clearly being careful about not giving the impression about being over-hasty with his decisions or his dates.