Former SA president Jacob Zuma’s trial to begin May 17

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Former South African President Jacob Zuma looks on in the High Court in Pietermaritzburg, on May 20, 2019 during his trial for alledged corruption. - Former South African president Jacob Zuma arrived in court on May 20 as he fights to have corruption charges against him over 1990s arms deal dropped before the case comes to trial. (Photo by Jackie CLAUSEN / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read JACKIE CLAUSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Former South African President Jacob Zuma looks on in the High Court in Pietermaritzburg, on May 20, 2019 (Photo credit: JACKIE CLAUSEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Former South African President Jacob Zuma’s trial on corruption, money laundering and racketeering charges will begin May 17 2021, after the courts rejected his applications to have the case dismissed.

Zuma who was not present in court on Tuesday, has made an undertaking to attend his criminal trial in May, the Pietermaritzburg high court heard.

As reported by Sowetan live, State advocate Billy Downer SC told the court that Zuma and a representative from French arms company Thales had made the undertaking therefore there was no need for Judge Nkosinathi Chili to make any order to compel the parties to be in attendance at this stage.

He told the court that the state had agreed to Zuma’s request not to be in court on Tuesday.

The trial is set down from May 17 to June 30. Further dates will be added at a later stage, and is expected to be lengthy as there are over 200 witnesses on the state’s list.

Zuma is accused of receiving an annual bribe of R500,000 from French arms dealer Thales for protection from an investigation into the controversial arms deal.

The alleged bribe was facilitated by Schabir Shaik, who was Zuma’s former financial adviser.

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