Arrest warrant issued against former South Africa president Zuma

FILE PHOTO: South Africa's President Jacob Zuma attends the 37th Ordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government in the capital, Pretoria, South Africa, August 19, 2017. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

The KwaZulu-Natal High Court has acceded to a request from the state to issue an arrest warrant against former South African president Jacob Zuma over his non-attendance at his corruption trial.

FILE PHOTO: Former South African President Jacob Zuma appears in court where he faces charges that include fraud, racketeering and money laundering in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, October 15, 2019. /REUTERS

The state on Tuesday made an application in court and asked Justice Dhaya Pillay to issue an arrest warrant for Zuma after his legal team applied for him to be absent from proceedings in Pietermaritzburg, citing ill health.

Zuma’s legal team submitted documents to the court, saying the former president was ill and had not been in the country since Jan. 23.

State prosecutor Billy Downer, however, has requested information from the defence regarding Zuma’s ailments, which they have yet to receive.

The State also raised questions over Zuma’s medical note submitted to the court.

His advocate Dan Mantsha, said Zuma’s health is a matter of national security, and that his doctor was attached to the military.

“It is absurd for the State to doubt admissibility of the medical note stamped by our own military official,” Mantsha said.

Judge Dhaya Pillay also questioned alterations on the sick note, asking why dates were apparently changed.

The court however stayed the warrant until his corruption trial resumes on May 6.