The corruption trial against former South African President Jacob Zuma has been postponed until next month.
A judge at the Pietermaritzburg High Court in the former president’s home province of KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday adjourned Zuma’s trial until August 10. Zuma’s lawyers had requested a delay in allowing him to appear in person and have a proper consultation with him.
Zuma has been charged with several counts of corruption, fraud and racketeering in relation to the massive 1999 arms deal involving French defense giant Thales, when he served as vice president. The company has also been accused of corruption and money laundering.
79-year-old Zuma appeared Monday via a video link from the Correctional Center, where he is serving a 15-month prison sentence handed down by the Constitutional Court in late June, before a separate investigation into allegations of corruption during his failed to appear. The nine-year presidency, which ended in 2018.
His surrender nearly two weeks earlier on charges of contempt triggered protests in KwaZulu-Natal that soon turned into riots, looting and arson that spread to Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city and economic center. More than 200 people were killed in the violence before security forces were deployed to restore order. More than 1,000 people have been arrested on charges of theft and sabotage.