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ARMS DEAL TRIAL: Zuma lawyers want prosecutor Billy Downer removed

17 May 2021 1:22 PM
Tags:
Thales
Former president Jacob Zuma
Arms Deal Findings
arms deal trial

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Sipho Ngwema says Downer has been working on the case for 20 years.

Former president Jacob Zuma’s trial has been postponed until 26 May 2021 for a plea to be recorded.

Judge Piet Koen has granted Zuma’s new lawyers time to file his plea.

Zuma and French company Thales made a short appearance in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on charges of corruption, racketeering and money laundering stemming from the 1999 arms deal.

His legal counsel, Advocate Thabani Masuku, said his client was ready for the trial.

Zuma's lawyers are looking at having prosecutor Billy Downer removed.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Sipho Ngwema and Eyewitness News KwaZulu-Natal correspondent Nkosikhona Duma have more on this.

As you saw, our witness was there, we were ready to start with the trial. We had agreed the last time with the defence where all pre-trial issues were resolved and today was supposed to start the trial in earnest. However, they brought a surprise.

Sipho Ngwema, Spokesperson - National Prosecuting Authority

They did call BIlly to indicate that they are going to bring an application for his recusal. They said they will bring a plea in terms of Section 105. Billy has been working on this case for the past 20 years. They have been interacting with him on other cases relating to this one, the Schabir Shaik matter.

Sipho Ngwema, Spokesperson - National Prosecuting Authority

Across the road, a mini-rally is being held in support of former president Jacob Zuma. Many senior leaders of the party and NEC members are also here. We have also seen the KZN leaders of the ANC.

Nkosikhona Duma, KwaZulu-Natal correspondent - Eyewitness News

His son Duduzane earlier, addressing the media saying the matter has been going who a while. They want the matter to proceed.

Nkosikhona Duma, KwaZulu-Natal correspondent - Eyewitness News

The leadership of the KZN ANC are here specifically to manage the supporters of former president Jacob Zuma because they feel that this event is being used to misrepresent the image the ANC.

Nkosikhona Duma, KwaZulu-Natal correspondent - Eyewitness News

Mdumiseni Ntuli, the secretary of the ANC in KwaZululu-Natal, and premier Zihle Zikalala who is also the ANC provincial chairperson have been booed time and time on this particular platform.

Nkosikhona Duma, KwaZulu-Natal correspondent - Eyewitness News

Listen below for the full interview...




17 May 2021 1:22 PM
Tags:
Thales
Former president Jacob Zuma
Arms Deal Findings
arms deal trial

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